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AllSeen, OCF create single IoT connectivity group

William Payne
October 13, 2016

Two of the leading IoT device connectivity organisations are merging. The Open Connectivity Foundation and the AllSeen Alliance are combining, with the new organisation adopting the OCF name and statutes.

Both organisations aim to allow devices and embedded systems to connect easily together. The combination of the two organisations under one name will bring together efforts at IoT connectivity mostly in the home automation, car to home, consumer electronics, health care, and wearables.

The merger brings together a number of industry leaders including Microsoft, Intel, LG Electronics, Qualcomm and Samsung.

AllSeen has developed the AllJoyn connectivity platform to link devices. The OCF, originally called the Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC), has developed the IoTivity connectivity platform.

The newly merged groups will collaborate on future OCF specifications, as well as the IoTivity and AllJoyn open source projects.

The expanded OCF board of directors will consist of executives from a wide array of leading companies: AB Electrolux, Arçelik A.S., ARRIS International plc, CableLabs, Canon, Inc., Cisco Systems, Inc., GE Digital, Haier, Intel, LG Electronics, Inc., Microsoft, Qualcomm, Samsung Electronics, and Technicolor SA.

Following the merger, both groups' connectivity platforms are to be open-sourced. They will be freely available, and will become more open to outside contributions and developments.

OCF will now sponsor both the IoTivity and AllJoyn open source projects at The Linux Foundation. Both projects will collaborate to support future versions of the OCF specification in a single IoTivity implementation that combines what aims to be the best of both technologies into a unified solution.

Current devices running on either AllJoyn or IoTivity solutions will be interoperable and backward-compatible. Companies already developing IoT solutions based on either technology can proceed with the confidence that their products will be compatible with the unified IoT standard that the industry has been asking for.

“By coming together as one group, we are able to make IoT a more seamless, secure experience for everyone involved, from developers to end users,” said Danny Lousberg, Chairperson of the AllSeen Alliance. “The AllSeen Alliance and Open Connectivity Foundation have been working together closely to deliver a technologically comprehensive solution that makes sense for the industry and our members.”

In a statement, the OCF said that the merger is designed to leverage the strengths of each organisation. The statement said that the AllSeen Alliance brings "its diverse, global membership, proven AllJoyn technology, and millions of AllJoyn-enabled products into the market through the AllJoyn Certified program. OCF brings its deep membership roster, formal IoT standards with expertise across multiple vertical markets and cloud-native architecture as implemented within the IoTivity framework".

“We’re incredibly excited about this unification as both groups have been working diligently to make this possible,” said Mike Richmond, executive director, Open Connectivity Foundation. “As we forge onwards towards this shared goal, we are focused on building the most robust, open IoT software solution to achieve our vision – complete interoperability within the IoT.”