The Internet of Things (IoT) is definitely the next step toward technological advancement, but it requires a huge effort on manufacturers' and developers' part to make different devices and operating systems to function seamlessly with one another. Now, to push through in that direction, big names in the industry are banding together to form the Open Connectivity Foundation or OCF to set standards for IoT devices.
The lineup includes ARRIS, CableLabs, Cisco, Electrolux, GE Digital, Intel, Microsoft, Qualcomm and Samsung, which will all work closely with one another to set rules and specifications to guarantee a singular advancement in the field.
"The OCF's vision for IoT is that billions of connected devices (appliances, phones, computers, industrial equipment) will communicate with one another regardless of manufacturer, operating system, chipset or transport. With the OCF fulfilling this promise, anyone – from a large technology company to a maker in their garage – can adopt the open standards of OCF to innovate and compete, helping ensure secure interoperability for consumers, business, and industry," OCF says.
Virtually every company in the group has been working on IoT. For instance, Samsung has showcased a slew of smart products at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show, including a refrigerator that can connect to the Internet and whatnot and other appliances.
Moreover, Samsung-backed startup Salted Venture is going to unveil smart shoes, which can aid wearers in working on their forms, at the upcoming 2016 Mobile World Congress.
Going over to Microsoft, it may have missed the mark with the smartphone market and arrived late at the tablet scene, but with the IoT industry, the company is set to help pave the way, particularly with Windows 10 and Azure.
"We have helped lead the formation of the OCF because we believe deeply in its vision and the potential an open standard can deliver. Despite the opportunity and promise of IoT to connect devices in the home or in businesses, competition between various open standards and closed company protocols have slowed adoption and innovation," Terry Myerson, executive VP of the Windows and Devices Group at Microsoft, says.
It's also worth noting that Electrolux, Microsoft and Qualcomm are premiere members of the Allseen alliance group, which is more or less a rival of the OCF's predecessor Open Interconnect Consortium or OIC. Needless to say, these three companies are now part of the OCF.