Qualcomm (QCOM) has offered up its AllJoyn device detection technology to anchor the Linux Foundation-backed, newly formed AllSeen Alliance that aims to establish an open source framework for all manner of objects to communicate with each other in the Internet of Everything (IoE).
Founding members include a number of the usual suspects from IT, consumer electronics, appliance manufacturers, chip makers, service providers and retailers. Among the 24 initial members, seven companies—Haier, LG Electronics, Panasonic, Qualcomm, Sharp, Silicon Image (SIMG) and TP-Link—have ponied up the $300,000 initial Premier membership fee, a figure that drops by $50,000 for the yearly dues thereafter.
The 17 Community members—Canary, Cisco Systems (CSCO), D-Link, doubleTwist, Fon, Harman (HAR), HTC, Letv, LIFX, Lite-on, Moxtreme, Musaic, Sears (SHLD), Sproutling, The Sprosty Network, Weaved and Wilocity—have anted up between $5,000 and $50,000 to join based on the size of the organization.
AllSeen is the Linux Foundation’s 11th collaborative project.
The AllSeen founders envision an IoE with an ecosystem of devices that can communicate with one another. Out of the gate some big, big names are missing—IoE proponent IBM (IBM) comes to mind—but the respectable smattering of IT and consumer electronics heavyweights at the start certainly is enough to support the initiative.
AllJoyn, which Qualcomm showcased at the Game Developers Conference in 2012, isn’t another wireless protocol but rather an open source framework that uses Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to sync devices together. In handing over AllJoyn source code, Qualcomm has given some cement in the form of a common denominator to the alliance’s effort to create an interoperable standard for the IoE.
The idea is to remove conflicts arising from the variety of protocols and user interfaces of different devices that impair connecting one to another or establishing controls. It's a metamorphosizing step to take—with even the most conservative of estimates forecasting by 2020 some 20 billion things of one sort or another will be connected—and AllSeen member Cisco estimating the global IoE economic opportunity at $14 trillion by 2022—establishing an open interoperability standard is a significant obstacle to hurdle.
AllSeen offered up an example of how a framework of a common language among devices and services will foster greater intelligence and interoperability: A family installing a smart lock developed with the framework on their front door will be able to connect it to smart lights that also use the framework and security cameras from other manufacturers. An unauthorized entry would trigger the lights to flash and the camera to take a photo of the intruder and send a notification and picture to the smart TV.
The goal here is to produce many examples of products from different makers, all working together and talking to one another.
“Open source software and collaboration are well-known for fostering innovation,” said Mamoru Yoshida, Panasonic managing director. “We are eager to apply these principles to moving the market forward for the Internet of Everything.”
Jim Zemlin, Linux Foundation executive director, said, the “AllSeen Alliance represents an unprecedented opportunity to advance the Internet of Everything for both home and industry.”