Samsung Electronics, Dell and Intel have teamed up to set the digital standard for everyday items, such as light bulbs, refrigerators and thermostats, to promote the development of a controlled Internet of Things.
The launch of the group, named the Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC), comes just months after the non-profit Linux Foundation announced their AllSeen Alliance, led by chipmaker Qualcomm, which shares similar aims.
The goal of the OIC is to establish how household objects will communicate with each other as part of the Internet of Things. Although companies have already started creating and developing hundreds of smart household products, including TVs and lock systems, there is not always a standard in place for the compatibility between devices – an issue that the OIC looks to overcome.
The group, which also includes Atmel and Broadcom, has suggested that unlike the AllSeen Alliance, it will tackle queries surrounding security and other authentication concerns not yet broached by its competitor.
The announcement comes as Apple and Google pursue their own lines of connected home devices. Apple’s HomeKit, launched last month, will integrate and develop smart devices for the home, such as light switches and thermostats. Google has also teamed up with companies including Whirlpool and Mercedes-Benz to help develop its Nest API which controls thermostats and switches.
The OIC will look to certify such devices, and will provide standards across a broad range of technologies, including Wi-Fi, NFC (near-field communication) and Bluetooth. However, despite outlining the protocol, the OIC still lack product and sufficient partnership. In her Gigaom article, journalist Stacey Higginbotham writes that although “AllSeen already has products on the market using the protocol and many more consumer brands, […] it’s still so early in the process we can’t know what wins. I just hope something does, or we’re going to have a fragmented industry with all the pain that entails.”
Currently trailing behind the AllSeen Alliance in terms of both members and product, the OIC are looking to count further electronics manufacturers as partners and hope to announce a fuller list of members later this year.
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