The new Open Interconnect Consortium is working toward the creation of a wireless communications standard for the Internet of Things. The standard would allow devices using any operating system to communicate with one another.
The OIC was founded by Intel, Samsung, Dell, Broadcom, Atmel and Wind River. The organizition is currently focusing on smart home and office technologies, and is looking to create a communications standard based on existing and emerging technologies such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Zwave, Ant+ and others. Creating a standard method of communication would allow all equipped devices to interact with one another, even if the original manufacturer did not have such communication in mind when developing the product.
"The rise and ultimate success of the Internet of Things depends on the ability for devices and systems to securely and reliably interconnect and share information," says Intel VP Doug Fisher in a statement. "This requires common frameworks, based on truly open, industry standards. Our goal in founding this new consortium is to solve the challenge of interoperable connectivity for the Internet of Things without tying the ecosystem to one company's solution."
For example, an industry standard would allow smartwatches developed with fitness tracking in mind to also be capable of communication with smart thermostats. A third-party app could instruct the thermostat to activate when the owner is returning home. It could also make adjustments based on the user's body temperature, cooling the house during and after peroids of vigorous exercise.
The OIC will use both standard and open source implementations, making it easier for new companies to use the communications standard and ensuring compatibility with third-party applications.
"The Open Interconnect Consortium is yet another proof point how open source helps to fuel innovation," says Jim Zemlin, executive director of The Linux Foundation. "We look forward to the OIC's contribution in fostering an open environment to support the billions of connected devices coming online."
The consortium is also examining business applications for interconnectivity. Companies could use the technology to interact with devices on the other side of the world while hold a secure virtual meeting. The OIC is also seeking out uses for the technology in healthcare as well as automotive and industrial applications.