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Sony backs AllSeen Alliance in Internet of Stuff standards slap-fight

Joins Microsoft, Qualcomm against Intel and Samsung so everyone can get along

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Sony has cast its lot with the AllSeen Alliance in the ongoing standards squabble over the pervasive-computing future tech known as the Internet of Things (IoT).

The Japanese kit-maker has signed on to the open source consortium as a premier member, joining such consumer tech competitors as LG, Panasonic, and Sharp, in addition to Microsoft and Qualcomm, among others.

"As a leading manufacturer of audio, video, game, communications and information technology products, Sony brings to the AllSeen Alliance a shared vision for the Internet of Everything through the creation of a common, interoperable platform," the Alliance announced in a canned statement.

The move sees Sony joining a list of more than 60 companies that are working to overcome IoT interoperability problems via AllJoyn, an open source software project initially led by Qualcomm that aims to provide a framework for inter-device communications.

But AllJoyn, of course, isn't the only effort to get internet-connected whatsits talking to each other. And however many members the AllSeen Alliance boasts, its roster is lacking other big names who are likely to have roles to play in the much-ballyhooed IoT future.

In July, Amtel, Broadcom, Dell, Intel, Samsung, and Wind River launched a competing effort known as the Open Interconnect Consortium. As it stands, despite the OIC's claim that it hopes to foster "a broad industry consortium of companies," no companies currently claim membership in both groups.

Meanwhile, Apple and Google are both trying to lure app and device makers to get onboard with their own, homegrown technologies, based on the built-in audiences of their respective mobile device platforms.

There's even a Blighty-backed consortium dubbed HyperCat that claims such members as ARM, BT, Flexeye, IBM, Intel (again), and a number of UK-based universities.

As that old saw goes, the great [Internet of] Thing about standards is that there are so many Internet of Things standards to choose from. Which (if any) of the current crop survive to actually be built into products remains up for grabs.

"The biggest challenge is connecting everything seamlessly," Sony's Hideyuki Furumi opined in a statement, "and we believe that by joining the AllSseen Alliance with which we share the same philosophy, we can strive to deliver these experiences together." ®

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