AllSeen Intros Network Gateway for IoT Devices

The consortium's AllJoyn Gateway Agent will enable users to connect to the IoT systems via external networks or cloud services.

Internet of things

The AllSeen Alliance is unveiling a technology that will enable users to connect to and manage their AllJoyn-enabled smart devices from external networks or cloud-based services.

The year-old consortium, which is developing a framework based on the AllJoyn code that will make it easier for connected devices and systems in the Internet of things (IoT) to communicate with each other regardless of the brand, on Jan. 6 introduced the AllJoyn Gateway Agent, which officials said is an extension of the framework.

AllSeen officials announced the gateway at the 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where the IoT has a significant presence. Also at the show, the group said it had surpassed 100 members, unveiling the latest 12 to join the consortium.

The capabilities of the AllJoyn Gateway Agent will be increasingly important as the IoT grows, according to Art Lancaster, Affinegy CTO and chairman of the AllSeen Alliance Gateway Working Group.

"There are millions of connected devices on the market and that number is growing exponentially," Lancaster said in a statement, adding that "consumers should have control over these devices and their data—with the assurance that these connections are both private and secure."

Cisco Systems officials predict the number of connected devices, from smartphones and tablets to cars, home appliances and industrial systems, will grow from 25 billion today to more than 50 billion by 2020.

The gateway agent includes remote access and management via external services, end-to-end encryption capabilities that gives users the ability to decide which AllJoyn-enabled devices and applications have access to the cloud, and an API that extends the AllJoyn connectivity to wireless technologies like Bluetooth, ZigBee and Z-Wave, as well as cloud services.

It also supports open standards like REST, XMPP and MQTT. The gateway agent can be installed on WiFi routers, automation hubs and other devices that are based on Linux or OpenWRT.

AllSeen officials last year told eWEEK the alliance was working on ways to enable AllJoyn-based devices to connect and communicate with each other and exchanging data while reducing their exposure to security threats by enabling users to decide which ones will connect to the Internet.

"You can let me decide what goes out onto the Internet," she said. "You start to imagine a much more controlled environment." AllSeen Board Chair Liat Ben-Zur told eWEEK at the time.

AllSeen is one of several industry consortiums—including the Thread Group, Open Interconnect Consortium and the Industrial Internet Consortium—that have cropped up over the past year with the goal of creating open frameworks that will make it easier for IoT devices, systems and sensors to connect to each other.

Among the new members to join the AllSeen Alliance are wireless technology vendor Blackloud, WiFi router maker Domos Lab, platform-as-a-service company Hubble Connected and Chinese electronics manufacturer TCL. The new members bring the consortium's roster up to 112 members, according to AllSeen officials.