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IBM, National Instruments Join OIC IoT Group

The Open Interconnect Consortium also releases its latest specification and IoTivity code aimed at improving interoperability between IoT devices.

Internet of things

IBM and National Instruments are among the newest companies to join the Open Interconnect Consortium, one of several industry groups working on open frameworks for the Internet of things.

The two companies were among eight new members announced by the Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC) July 20, bringing the membership total to more than six dozen. It's also the latest indication of the crossover occurring in memberships among the various Internet of things (IoT) standards groups, which could mean reduced worries about the fragmentation of efforts in the area.

In addition to the new members, the OIC also announced the release of the group's 0.9.1 specification and corresponding IoTivity code. The spec will enable group members and others in the industry greater flexibility in developing and certifying interoperable products that use any implementation of the OIC's IoTivity framework.

As attention around the IoT has grown over the past several years, a number of industry groups have cropped up to develop open frameworks and protocols to ensure the billions of devices that make up the IoT can automatically discover and communicate with each other. The OIC is working on its IoTitivity frameworks, while the AllSeen Alliance's efforts revolve around the AllJoyn code initially developed by Qualcomm engineers. The Thread Group is focusing on the Thread technology, while the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) is working on its own open efforts.

The worry has been that having various consortiums working on their own codes will inhibit the interoperability needed for businesses to take full advantage of the IoT. However, there has been movement in recent months toward greater cooperation among the groups. In February, the OIC and IIC announced a partnership to drive interoperability, while the Thread Group and ZigBee Alliance in April said they would enable ZigBee's application layer protocols to run over Thread-based networks.

Qualcomm, which helped found AllSeen, joined the Thread Group earlier this month, and IBM—one of the founding members of the IIC—has now joined the OIC.

"The OIC's continued success in adding leading technology companies to our organization highlights the industry's commitment to ensuring interoperability of the billions of devices," OIC Executive Director Mike Richmond said in a statement.

Other new members include Inside Secure, Kookmin University, Micosa, Ta-I Technology Co., TelHoc and VU Security.