The effort to create open interoperability standards for the Internet of things has become a crowded one over the past year, with more than a half-dozen industry groups entering into the fray.
Two of those groups—the Open Interconnect Consortium (IOC) and the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC)—will now be working together more closely to drive interoperability. The consortiums on Feb. 26 announced a strategic liaison agreement in which they will share information to streamline the Internet of things (IoT) standards efforts.
The work being done by the OIC and IIC complement each other, so having the groups working together makes sense, according to IIC Executive Director Richard Soley.
"OIC's focus on developing standards through an open-source project makes it an ideal partner for the Industrial Internet Consortium," Soley said in a statement. "By sharing use cases with the OIC, we will identify new scenarios that will ultimately result in systematic interoperability between devices."
As part of this agreement, the IIC will share use cases and architectural requirements for the industrial space with the OIC. For its part, the OIC will ensure that its open specification—IoTivity—and the open-source project around it will include the capabilities needed in an IoT communications framework to meet those IIC requirements and make the use cases easier to implement, according to officials with both groups.
"By ensuring the standards and associated open source software from the OIC support the use cases and requirements defined by the IIC, we can accelerate the delivery of an industrial grade communications framework for the IoT," Imad Sousou, vice president and general manager of Intel's Open Source Technology Center and vice president of the board at the OIC, said in a statement.
The Internet of things is expected to grow rapidly over the next few years, with Cisco Systems predicting that the number of connected devices will jump from 25 billion last year to more than 50 billion in 2020. The IoT will include a broad array of connected devices and systems, from smartphones and tablets to home appliance, clothing, industrial systems and smart cities technology.
Enabling connected systems to communicate with each other will be a key part of the IoT, and a number of industry groups—including the AllSeen Alliance and the Thread Group—have been formed to develop open interoperability frameworks. Both the IIC and the OIC were launched last year by such companies as Cisco Systems, IBM, Intel, AT&T and GE (for the IIC) and Intel, Dell and Samsung (for the OIC). The OIC now has more than 50 members; the IIC has 141 members.