A group of technology giants have banded together to create a standard that will synchronise devices, systems and services to ensure easy interoperability for the Internet of Everything.
The move was announced today (10 December 2013) by the Linux Foundation, the non-profit organisation dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux and collaborative development. The AllSeen Alliance is described as the broadest cross-industry consortium to date to advance adoption and innovation in the "Internet of Everything" in homes and industry.
The Internet of Everything is based on the idea that devices, objects and systems can be connected in simple, transparent ways to enable seamless sharing of information and coordinated and intelligent operations across all of them.
As no single company can accomplish the level of interoperability required to support the Internet of Everything and address everyday, real-life scenarios, a united, pan-industry effort is needed to deliver new experiences to consumers and businesses.
The AllSeen Alliance looks to expand upon the Internet of Things, which Gartner predicts will add $1.9 trillion to the global economy by 2020, to include more functionality and interactions across various brands and sectors, such as the connected home, healthcare, education, automotive and enterprise.
Founding members of the AllSeen Alliance include some of the world's leading, consumer electronics manufacturers, home appliances manufacturers, service providers, retailers, enterprise technology companies, innovative start ups, and chipset manufacturers.
Premier level members include Haier, LG Electronics, Panasonic, Qualcomm, Sharp, Silicon Image and TP-LINK. Community members include Canary, Cisco, D-Link, doubleTwist, Fon, Harman, HTC, Letv, LIFX, Lite-on, Moxtreme, Musaic, Sears Brand Management Corporation, Sproutling, The Sprosty Network, Weaved and Wilocity.
"Open source software and collaborative development have been proven to accelerate technology innovation in markets where major transformation is underway," said Jim Zemlin, executive director at The Linux Foundation.
"Nowhere is this more evident today than in the consumer, industrial and embedded industries where connected devices, systems and services are generating a new level of intelligence in the way we and our systems interact.
The AllSeen Alliance represents an unprecedented opportunity to advance the Internet of Everything for both home and industry. We are very happy to host and help guide this work."
The members of the AllSeen Alliance will contribute software and engineering resources as part of their collaboration on an open software framework that enables hardware manufacturers, service providers and software developers to create interoperable devices and services. This open source framework allows ad hoc systems to seamlessly discover, dynamically connect and interact with nearby products regardless of brand, transport layer, platform or operating system.
The initial framework is based on the AllJoyn open source project, which was originally developed by and is being contributed to the Alliance by Qualcomm Innovation Center, (a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated), and will be expanded with contributions from member companies and the open source community.
Products, applications and services created with the AllJoyn open source project can communicate over various transport layers, such as Wi-Fi, power line or Ethernet, regardless of manufacturer or operating system and without the need for Internet access.
The software runs on popular platforms such as Linux and Linux-based Android, iOS, and Windows, including embedded variants. The initial codebase is available on the website for developers to access and begin evaluating at http://www.allseenalliance.org
As an example of the greater intelligence and interoperability made possible with the framework as the common language among the devices and services, a family that installs a smart lock built with the framework for their front door will seamlessly be able to connect it to smart lights that also use the framework and security cameras from other manufacturers. Unauthorised entries can 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.
At the other end of the spectrum, factory floors - evolving environments with systems that need to adjust dynamically - can benefit from the framework's ability to enable a self-aware network that can constantly learn what new equipment has been added and what capabilities or interfaces that equipment has, so that it can immediately begin playing its part on the manufacturing process.
The AllSeen Alliance becomes the 11th Linux Foundation Collaborative Project. These are independently funded software projects that harness the power of collaborative development to fuel innovation across industries and ecosystems.
By spreading the collaborative DNA of the largest collaborative software development project in history, The Linux Foundation provides the essential collaborative and organisational framework so project hosts can focus on innovation and results.
Linux Foundation Collaborative Projects span the enterprise, mobile, embedded and life sciences markets and are backed by many of the largest names in technology.