ThingWorx and its parent company, PTC, are the latest members of the 3-month-old Industrial Internet Consortium, a group founded in March by the likes of Cisco Systems, Intel, IBM and AT&T to help accelerate the development of the Internet of things.
The addition of ThingWorx—which has developed a platform for building and running applications for the Internet of things (IoT)—and PTC pushes membership of the consortium past 50. The announcement June 16 comes a week after another IoT consortium, the AllSeen Alliance, said that its membership lineup had hit 50 with the addition of several companies, including Symantec, Red Bend Software and Local Motors.
AllSeen, a project within the Linux Foundation that is developing an open framework for the IoT based on the AllJoyn open-source code, was launched in December 2013 by such vendors as Qualcomm, LG Electronics, Panasonic, Sharp and Silicon Image.
Both groups are looking to bring open standards to the IoT to facilitate better communications between the rapidly growing numbers of systems and devices—from tablets and smartphones to cars, manufacturing systems, home appliances and health care products—that are gaining intelligence, communicating with each other and generating massive amounts of data that organizations can leverage to become more efficient and to arrive at business decisions more quickly.
"We're at the precipice of a major technological shift, where smart machines will communicate and connect in ways that will lead to transformational business outcomes," Richard Soley, executive director of the Industrial Internet Consortium, said in a statement.
Tech vendors and analysts expect the IoT space to grow quickly. Cisco officials expect there to be 50 billion connected devices and systems by 2020, and IDC analysts have said the market for IoT solutions will grow from $1.9 trillion in 2013 to $7.1 trillion in 2020.
ThingWorx's membership into the consortium coincides with the latest release of its ThingWorx Platform, which is designed to help businesses develop and run applications for the IoT. ThingWorx v5.0 includes a federated server deployment option that enables organizations to deploy applications in the cloud, on-premises, in a hybrid environment or on devices, ensuring the application goes to the right location, officials said. In addition, ThingWorx's AlwaysOn communications protocol reduces power consumption and bandwidth usage for lower operational costs, and comes with various software-development kits that let developers leverage whatever programming model works best, from Java and .NET to C, iOS and Android.
"We are excited to launch the ThingWorx Application Platform v5.0," said Russ Fadel, president of ThingWorx, in a statement. "ThingWorx is already recognized as the standard for IoT developer productivity. This latest release of the platform establishes a new standard for deployability and makes it easier for companies to optimize for performance, autonomy, cost and privacy."