IoT Alliances help setting up a standard way of communicating and share data commonly across all the stakeholders. They also provide a platform where these stakeholders can collaborate to validate and verify their offerings for adoption by the other stakeholders. Here are some of the IoT Alliances that are prevalent in both Consumer and Industrial IoT arena.
ALLSEEN ALLIANCE (ALLJOYN):
The first IoT standards group, AllSeen was started by the non-profit Linux Foundation. It has more than 51 member organizations, including Microsoft, Qualcomm, LG, Sharp, and Panasonic. AllSeen seeks to provide a secure, programmable software and services framework for applications that enable a connected home. Efforts are being made to standardize connectivity taking place through transport layers such as Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi-Direct, Ethernet, Powerline, Bluetooth LE, 6LoWPAN, ZigBee, and Z-Wave. Interoperability is also a focus, with supported platforms including Android, iOS, Linux, OpenWRT, Windows, and OS X.
AllSeen is also committed to addressing security and privacy through its AllJoyn open-source framework. An extension of the framework, the AllJoyn Gateway Agent uses end-to-end encryption to keep communications secure. The Gateway Agent also uses privacy controls that let users decide which devices and applications have access to and from cloud services.
OPEN INTERCONNECT CONSORTIUM (OIC):
The OIC, led by Intel, Atmel, Broadcom, Dell, and Samsung, is dedicated to defining requirements and ensuring interoperability of all devices in the IoT. Specifically, the OIC envisions a highway-like system of connectivity between IoT verticals, and it recently launched IoTivity, an open-source framework based on the Apache 2.0 licensing and governance model. The companies that make up the consortium also make security a top priority, though it’s unclear how the group will address privacy.
One differentiator for the OIC is that it wants to deliver a reference implementation of its IoT standards, rather than simply offering the standards themselves.
THE THREAD GROUP (GOOGLE NEST):
Formed by Google’s Nest Labs, the Thread Group includes more than 80 members, including Samsung, ARM Holdings, Silicon Labs, and Freescale Semiconductor. The group’s goal is to encourage manufacturers of smart-home devices to use the Thread standard for device communications through a network. Unlike other alliances that provide IoT platforms and interconnectivity of existing standards, Thread relies on a low-power radio protocol known as IPv6 over Low power Wireless Personal Area Networks (6LoWPAN) as the base networking protocol. Thread sees this connectivity protocol as interoperable with the application layers provided by the other alliances.
While the group has said security has been built into the network, and it promises to test security comprehensively on each product that it certifies, it is yet to document the data privacy plans.
Apple in the Consumer IoT space wants to give third-party device makers approval under the “Made for iPhone” certification process already used for iOS accessories. HomeKit will supply toolkits for
developers to make smart-home integration for developers and consumers. The HomeKit API features a common language designed to be interoperable with non-HomeKit devices that use protocols like ZigBee or Z-Wave.
HomeKit also includes security and privacy layers, such as end-to-end encryption between iOS devices and smart devices.
Founded by Intel, Cisco, AT&T, GE, and IBM, the 150-member Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) wants to accelerate Industrial IoT adoption while defining industry standards. The group’s members are collaborating to develop connectivity standards, and the IIC has signed a strategic agreement with the OIC to share information to streamline IoT device interoperability.
Additionally, the IIC is relying on its members, such as security platform provider CyberX and software giant SAP, to define standards for security and privacy.
There are lots of focus, excitement and attention in IoT, this is an effort to document the common frameworks and standards that are prevalent. If you need to implement an IoT strategy you need to pick a right partner who understands the frameworks, sort out the hype from substance and have expertise to use the appropriate standard for implementing the same.