As someone who is historically an early adopter of technology, I surprised myself when I didn't jump head-first into the Internet of Things. Don't get me wrong, I love the IoT concepts of the connected home and smart appliances, but a lack of standards make me hesitant. As of now, my house has but one such device -- a WeMo smart outlet so I can turn on a lamp with an Amazon Echo.
A lack of standards for IoT is extremely problematic, but luckily, companies are realizing this dilemma. In fact, Microsoft announces the IoT-focused Open Connectivity Foundation with partners Intel, Samsung, Cisco and more. While this coalition is a step in the right direction, I am sure there will be many competing groups vying for adoption; the fight could last many years.
"At Microsoft, we believe in strong partnerships to create opportunity across the ecosystem. Today, we’re pleased to join other industry leaders to create the Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF), which is committed to furthering industry standards for the Internet of Things. Along with founding members Cisco, Electrolux, General Electric, Intel, Qualcomm, Samsung and others, we are proud to be part of the world’s largest open IoT standard group. Together, our goal is to accelerate industry innovation for all of our customers, ultimately benefiting billions of people around the world", says Terry Myerson, Executive Vice President, Windows and Devices Group.
Myerson further says, "we have helped lead the formation of the OCF because we believe deeply in its vision and the potential an open standard can deliver. Despite the opportunity and promise of IoT to connect devices in the home or in businesses, competition between various open standards and closed company protocols have slowed adoption and innovation. Much like W3C manages the standards for the World Wide Web, the IEEE sets electrical engineering standards and the UPU sets the global postal code -- standardization can help consolidate industry attention and create opportunity, via an agreed upon set of protocols that move industries and the world forward".
Of course, Windows 10 devices will support the OCF standard. With that operating system on over 200 million devices, the Open Connectivity Foundation instantly becomes a force to be reckoned with. Heck, folks, Microsoft has selected some powerful allies here -- Intel alone can move the dial. With that said, Linux and open source technologies may be more appropriate for the IoT.
Have you embraced IoT in your home? What devices and platforms have you chosen? Tell me in the comments.