The AllSeen Alliance, which is one of several open-source consortiums working to develop standards for the Internet of things, is adding eight new members to a lineup that includes such tech heavyweights as Microsoft, Qualcomm, Cisco Systems and Symantec.
The new members include six technology vendors and a specialist in electrical and digital infrastructures for buildings. In addition, a scientific technology university in Italy joined as a sponsored member of the consortium, which launched in December 2013.
The new members include ControlBeam, which builds automation solutions for businesses and homes; Fortune Techgroup, a semiconductor technology and service provider in China; and FreeWings Technologies, another Chinese company in the wireless communications field. Grid2Home develops solution solutions for the Internet of things (IoT), MachineShop is a middleware company aimed at enabling systems to become part of the IoT, and Vedams works in the storage space.
The Legrand Group works in electrical installations in commercial, industrial and residential environments, while the Politecnico di Milano is a university that trains engineers, architects and industrial designers.
The companies bring the AllSeen membership count to 58. Joe Speed, director of IoT at the Linux Foundation, which is overseeing AllSeen, said he is pleased to "see such intense interest in the AllSeen Alliance's work, with companies all around the world coming together to foster an open ecosystem in which a wide range of devices, objects and systems can connect and share information in a simple, transparent way."
AllSeen, which also counts Panasonic, LG Electronics, HTC and Sharp as members, is creating an open framework for the IoT based on the AllJoyn open-source code originally developed by Qualcomm.
The Internet of things encompasses the growing number of intelligent devices, sensors and systems—from mobile devices like smartphones and tablets to manufacturing systems, cars, home appliances and health care devices—that are connected to each other, generating and sharing massive amounts of data. Cisco officials have said that there will be 50 billion connected devices by 2020 and that the Internet of everything—which the networking vendor says includes the IoT—will be worth as much as $19 trillion to companies worldwide by the end of the decade.
AllSeen is one of a number of open-source groups looking create open standards for the IoT. Others include the Open Interconnect Consortium, which Intel, Dell, Samsung, Broadcom and others launched July 8, and the Thread Group, which was announced July 15 by, among others, Samsung, ARM, Freescale and Google's Nest business. The Thread Group is pushing a new wireless networking protocol for the home called Thread.