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OIC acquires UPnP Forum to consolidate IoT standardisation

Steve Rogerson
November 25, 2015
 
In an attempt to consolidate IoT standardisation work, the Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC) is acquiring virtually all of the assets of the UPnP Forum. In exchange, the OIC will offer membership to UPnP Forum members.
 
The agreement aims to streamline and consolidate efforts around both organisations’ technologies and infrastructure, leading to increased alignment on standardisation for the IoT. Specific membership transfers will be announced after the transaction closes at the end of 2015.
 
"UPnP Forum pioneered the networking software protocols fundamental to today's smart home," said Mike Richmond, OIC executive director. “The Open Interconnect Consortium is looking forward to working with our many new members to streamline specification development for the next generation of IoT-connected devices.”
 
Gartner predicts that there will be 21 billion IoT-connected devices in use by 2020, by that time, the industry hopes there will be an accepted common standard in place to ensure these devices are able to communicate and operate in the capacity for which they were designed. This asset transfer with the UPnP Forum is the OIC’s latest step in ensuring interoperability.
 
“We’re thrilled to join the Open Interconnect Consortium and have the opportunity to leverage their industry-leading technology in UPnP’s already massive suite of market-ready devices,” said Scott Lofgren, president of the UPnP Forum. "UPnP devices play a unique role in the smart home that will dramatically enhance OIC's effort."
 
The OIC will form an UPnP working group to maintain the UPnP specifications and certification tools within the overall OIC organisation. The OIC will offer legacy UPnP certification for a fee to companies who choose not to join the OIC.
 
“Fragmentation amongst internet of things protocols and standard bodies has been one of the hurdles for wider industry adoption,” said Christopher Rommel from VDC Research. “Developers need to work together to ensure compatibility among protocols. VDC believes that OIC’s acquisition of the UPnP Forum’s assets is a positive step in building out the necessary infrastructure to deliver the promise of IoT.”
 
The OIC, a Delaware non-profit corporation, was founded by leading technology companies with the goal of defining the connectivity requirements and ensuring interoperability of the billions of devices that will make up the emerging IoT.