The Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC) aims to “define connectivity requirements to ensure the interoperability of billions of devices projected to come online by 2020”, including PCs, smartphones and tablets, as well as wearable technology and home and industrial appliances.
The OIC aims to deliver a specification, an open source implementation and a certification programme for wirelessly connecting devices regardless of form factor, operating system or service provider.
The initial source code will be targeted at the specific requirements of the smart home and office — for example, to remotely control and receive notifications from home appliances or office devices.
The other OIC members are chipmakers Atmel and Broadcom, Dell and embedded software provider, Wind River. Each company will contribute software and engineering resources to the initiative.
The consortium said “leaders from a broad range of industry vertical segments” will take part in the initiative, with more companies expected to join in the next few months.
This should ensure that the specifications can be used to design products that “intelligently, reliably and securely manage and exchange information under changing conditions, power and bandwidth, and even without an internet connection”.
Doug Fisher, corporate VP and general manager of the software and services group at Intel, said the goal of the OIC is “to solve the challenge of interoperable connectivity for the Internet of Things without tying the ecosystem to one company’s solution”.
The OIC will rival the existing AllSeen Alliance, which recently welcomed Microsoft to the fold. The group is pushing the AllJoyn open standard for connected devices, which was developed by Qualcomm but became an open source project late in 2013.
AllJoyn enables devices to communicate their function and capabilities using a unified format, without the limitations provided by the use of proprietary code. This approach should enable connected systems to be scaled to include thousands of devices.
The AllSeen Alliance now has 51 members, including LG and Panasonic.