Microsoft has teamed up with Qualcomm, Intel and other tech giants to formulate one communication protocol for IoT
One-size-fits-all is a much needed approach when a uniform standard for the Internet of things (IoT) is lacking. Microsoft argued that closed company protocols in IoT limit advancement in the technology, and therefore encouraged the formation of an open IoT standard. Microsoft partnered with Intel, Qualcomm, and Cisco, for the development of the Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF).
OCF will provide an interoperable environment for the devices to interact with each other seamlessly. IoT devices with different Operating Systems (OS), manufactures, and chipsets, will all use one communication protocol via OCF.
OCF is essentially an effort to merge different standardization tools for IoT. Before OCF, there were two competing entities that provided the same service: Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC) formed by Intel, and AllSeen Alliance, formed by Qualcomm. Now, OIC members will move to new standard group, while devices designed for the Allseen standard will also run on the OCF standard.
Companies usually make IoT devices that are only compatible with their own ecosystem, and if they want the devices to interact with the out-group, they rely on a partnership with other companies. This has left people selecting digital assistants and other IoT devices, based on the the partnerships in place.
Apple has its own platform, called HomeKit, but all its accessories are powered by its own OS, and same is the case with Samsung’s SmartThings. This suggests that the entire technology is fragmented, and not fulfilling the core purpose of IoT: greater connectivity.
Windows and Devices Group Vice President Terry Myerson said, “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.”
Microsoft doesn’t have any IoT devices currently, but with Windows 10, it is enabling the interoperability of a plethora of other IoT devices, and is consistently moving towards becoming an ideal platform for Things. With the OCF open standard, Microsoft could expand its support to more devices, since Windows 10 devices will natively interoperate with OCF.