Sony is the latest major tech vendor to join the AllSeen Alliance, a consortium of technology companies, device makers and appliance manufacturers that is developing an open framework for the Internet of things based on its AllJoyn open source code.
Sony on Sept. 2 became the most recent premier member of the group, joining such companies as Microsoft, Qualcomm, Panasonic, Sharp and Electrolux, which signed on with the alliance about a week earlier. An AllSeen official said having companies like Sony as members is key to advancing the group's efforts.
"Open source provides the unique ability to collaborate across company lines to advance technologies and enable change," Liat Ben-Zur, chairwoman of the AllSeen Alliance, said in a statement. "The only way to build the future of ubiquitously connected devices is by working together."
Sony makes a wide range of consumer electronic devices, from video and game systems to IT products.
"Developing and progressing the Internet of Everything ecosystem is essential for us to broaden and enrich our customers' everyday experiences," Hideyuki Furumi, president of UX, product strategy, sales and marketing at Sony, said in a statement. "And this is an area where we at Sony are focused on delivering satisfying and exciting experiences to our customers. The biggest challenge is connecting everything seamlessly, and we believe that by joining the AllSeen Alliance with which we share the same philosophy, we can strive to deliver these experiences together."
The burgeoning Internet of things (IoT) is growing as increasingly intelligent devices and systems—from smartphones and tablets to automobiles, health care devices, industrial systems and home appliances—connect to the Internet and communicate with each other. Cisco Systems is forecasting that by 2020, there will be 50 billion connected devices worldwide, and IDC analysts say the IoT market will generate $7.1 trillion in revenues by the end of the decade.
Gartner analysts also expect the IoT market to grow, though in a report last month, they found the Internet of things is this year's most hyped technology trend.
AllSeen, which is a project under the auspices of the Linux Foundation and now has 64 members, is developing the AllJoyn-based software framework as a way of enabling all these disparate devices to connect and communicate with each other. AllJoyn—code originally developed by Qualcomm researchers—enables these devices and systems to discover each other regardless of their brand, operating system or infrastructure.
AllSeen, which launched in December 2013, is one of a number of groups looking to create open standards for the IoT. Dell, Intel, Samsung, Broadcom and others in July launched the Open Interconnect Consortium, while Samsung, ARM, Freescale and Google's Nest business were among the founding members of the Thread Group, which is pushing a wireless networking protocol for the home called Thread.
A number of AllSeen members, including Qualcomm, Panasonic, Electrolux and Sony, will be at the IFA show in Germany Sept. 5-9 demonstrating AllJoyn-enabled devices.