IoT groups combine efforts in emerging fragmented market: Page 2 of 3

November 30, 2015 // By Rick Merritt, EE Times
The Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC) will acquire assets of and combine its technologies with those of the Universal Plug and Play Forum (UPnP), a fifteen-year old group focused on automating links between PCs and peripherals typically over Wi-Fi. By adopting the UPnP’s widely used service discovery software and likely many of its members, OIC will bolster its position as an applications-layer software stack for the Internet of Things.
The merged group plans “first and foremost” to develop a plug in for OIC’s IoTivity software stack so OIC devices can talk to UPnP devices, said Scott Lofgren, president of the UPnP Forum. OIC also aims to use UPnP’s source code and test tools as part of its planned certification program.

Longer term, OIC aims to adopt UPnP’s capabilities for controlling Wi-Fi routers. “There are some scenarios for home automation where time-based scripts need to be in a device that doesn’t turn off or go into a power save mode,” said Michael Richmond executive director of OIC.

UPnP’s software is based on the Simple Object Access Protocol and the Simple Service Discovery Protocol, but the group “has been adopting Restful technologies such as Json over the last year becoming more similar to OIC — and both use XMPP,” said Lofgren.

OIC and UPnP also both support UDP for connecting resource-constrained devices. By contrast, Alljoyn is based on DBus a form of remote procedure call (RPC). Richmond suggested implementing DBus would require more resources at end nodes and not scale as efficiently as Restful APIs.

A former software executive at Qualcomm who spearheaded the AllJoyn effort said earlier this year that OIC and AllSeen need to merge to offer an open alternative to Google’s Thread/Weave and Apple’s HomeKit. “Without OIC and AllSeen merging nothing will be big enough to stand up to these two,” said Rob Chandhok, now chief operating officer of IoT startup Helium.

The senior director of IoT at the Linux Foundation who heads the AllSeen Alliance expressed similar sentiments in an interview several weeks ago.

“At a high level [AllSeen and OIC] are solving the same problem…[so] we would love there to be a single organization moving forward,” said Philip DesAutels. Without such consolidation “you end up with a fragmented market and frustrated users,” he said.

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