AllSeen Internet of Things Alliance Expands

By Sean Michael Kerner | Jun 13, 2014 | Print this Page
http://www.enterprisenetworkingplanet.com/netsp/allseen-internet-of-things-alliance-expands.html

After six months of existence, the AllSeen Alliance is continuing to add members and grow the technology base for Internet of Things open specifications.

The AllSeen Alliance is a Linux Foundation Collaboration Project that got its start in December of 2013.

Joe Speed, director of IoT for the AllSeen Alliance, told Enterprise Networking Planet that there has been a lot of interest in the AllSeen Alliance since it was established in December. Speed noted that the group has not been doing outbound solicitation. Instead, companies are approaching the Alliance about how to get involved, and the result is often membership.

"Alliance members often talk to others in their ecosystem (partners, suppliers, even competitors) about the benefits of this alliance and open source IoT project," Speed said. "Network effect applies in IoT, so there is more value created when all the things can interact with one another in smart ways."

AllSeen now has 50 members, with six new members officially joining the group this week. The six new members are GEO Semiconductor, Local Motors, Octoblu, Razer, Red Bend Software and Symantec.

There is also a category of participating organization within the AllSeen Alliance for what is known as a sponsored member. The sponsored members are not included in the 50 number.

"Sponsored is reserved for organizations such as non-profits, industry associations and academic institutions and can be admitted by a majority AllSeen board vote," Speed said. "We just announced the addition of three sponsored members: Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, CableLabs and openHAB."

As a collaboration project run by the Linux Foundation, there is also some overlap between companies that are members of both the Linux Foundation and AllSeen. Speed said that Cisco, LG, D-Link, Qualcomm, Tuxera and Panasonic are members of both organizations. Being a member of both organizations does not carry any discount in membership fees.

"It is worth noting that this project is cross-platform, cross-OS," Speed said. " AllSeen Alliance's open source IoT is portable and works with Linux, Windows, Mac OSX, iOS, Android, WinCE, et al. It runs on things ranging from the smallest embedded systems to huge 4K HDTVs."

There are many similarities between the AllSeen Alliance and other collaboration projects run by its parent organization, the Linux Foundation. Speed noted that the AllSeen Alliance is the same as other Linux Foundation collaborative projects in that it’s all about a broad cross-section of companies coming together in a neutral venue and collaborating on open source software to solve a major challenge.

"The AllSeen Alliance is the largest Linux Foundation collaborative project in terms of number of members, and has the most consumer electronics and home appliance manufacturers," Speed said.

At the core of the AllSeen Alliance is open source technology first built by Qualcomm, known as the AllJoyn project. Over the last six months, Speed said that AllSeen Alliance members have been rolling up their sleeves and collaborating in working groups and contributing to the open source IoT framework in areas such as core code, base services, security and development tools.

"We’ve run training sessions to help bring the community up to speed on the AllJoyn framework and base services," Speed said.

Additionally, the first AllSeen Alliance Hackfest was held in San Jose last month to help provide developers with the information and tools they need to get started developing IoT applications. Speed said that the AllSeen Alliance is planning more of these intensive days of training labs and hands-on coding.

"The Alliance is growing quickly, and the sense of excitement is intense," Speed said.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Enterprise Networking Planet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.