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Internet of Things

A New Alliance Will Let "Internet Of Things" Devices Talk To Each Other

The Linux Foundation is taking over from Qualcomm to establish a standard that lets Internet of Things devices chat.

A New Alliance Will Let "Internet Of Things" Devices Talk To Each Other

[Image: Flickr user Pete]

The Internet of Things has huge potential to shape the world we live in, but as more "smart" devices make their way into our homes, pockets, cars, and workplaces, what good are they if they can't talk to one another?

The AllSeen Alliance is a new effort led by The Linux Foundation to bring about a communications standard for the Internet of Things.

Without such standards bodies, we wouldn't have computing systems that are inter-compatible across devices, like Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. The lack of a broadly agreed upon standard is one possible reason for why the mobile payments revolution hasn't happened swiftly yet, as many competing bodies try to push their own standard. Similarly, the lack of a standard for the Internet of Things means it may be difficult for your home's smart hub to chat to different brands of smart sockets, light bulbs, or the corresponding control apps on your smartphone.

For this alliance, chip maker Qualcomm handed its original open-source Internet of Things protocol effort AllJoyn to the Linux Foundation. Now manufacturers like Haier, LG, Panasonic, and Sharp are involved, along with chip makers Qualcomm itself, Cisco, Silicon Image, and others. This is what makes the new alliance pretty exciting. The hope is that it will attract bigger name brands who can agree on how their devices will interact.