Panasonic pledges to provide companies with royalty-free access to some of its IoT software and patents as way to speed up the development of new IoT software and services. The company is adopting the model of the open-source software movement by sharing its software and product experience in cloud computing technologies.

Panasonic, a company known for consumer electronics, made the announcement at the Embedded Linux Conference in San Jose, California. The company believes that by providing royalty-free access to some of its technology, developers will be able to find new ways of adopting the experience from its product lines and implement them with other IoT components.

"Open sourcing a proprietary technology invites the open source community to evaluate, work on and ultimately improve the software," said Todd Rytting, Panasonic North America Chief Technology Officer. "We hope our Internet of Things initiative will inspire other global companies to contribute intellectual property and ideas to making networks work together through this alliance."

As part of the company's offerings, the open source code will be contributed to the OpenDOF (Open Distributed Object Framework) Project, a non-profit group formed by Panasonic. The aim is to foster development of network services among devices that have limited resources such as memory and power. It will target collecting data from a number of devices such as sensors and will also work on the remote control of devices.

"Being open is an absolute requirement most of the time," said Rytting. 

Rytting added that the advantage of having an open IP is that more people who have more experiences can review it which could lead to achieving the best innovations.

Panasonic also plans on increasing its intellectual property contributions to the AllSeen Alliance, a cross-industry, nonprofit open-source consortium.

"We are excited to contribute some of our technology and expertise to the effort already underway at the AllSeen Alliance," said Rytting.

Cloud software technology which had already been tested by the company will be made available for other companies to explore and test further. Currently, the technology is being used in solar energy, home monitoring systems and retail applications.

Other companies have also made their patents royalty-free and available for developing technologies such as Tesla's electric vehicles and Toyota's fuel cell vehicles.

Photo: Jean-Bastien Prevots I Flickr

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