AllSeen Alliance merges with Open Connectivity Foundation

internet of things

After months of working on a way to support both the AllJoyn and IoTivity open source frameworks, the AllSeen Alliance and Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF) announced today that they are merging their two boards and unifying under the OCF name.

The OCF has been the sponsor of the IoTivity open source project, while the AllSeen Alliance provided the AllJoyn open source IoT framework. Under their new arrangement, OCF will 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 the best of both technologies into a unified solution, the groups said in a press release. 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,” the groups said in the release.

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

Earlier this year, the AllSeen Alliance and the former Intel-backed Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC) decided to come together as the OCF, removing some degree of fragmentation in the Internet of Things (IoT) industry. But at that time, there was no viable plan to merge from a business point of view before there was a meeting of the minds technically, and that happened starting at last spring's Open IoT Summit.

Public statements and presentations at that conference indicated the technical differences could be bridged and that a best-of-both solution was possible, AllSeen Alliance Chairman Danny Lousberg and OCF Executive Director Mike Richmond told FierceWirelessTech via email. Since that conference, more work has been done to make sure that both frameworks can be supported and that backward-compatibility will be maintained in a best-of-both code base.

Even short-term, the industry will benefit from having two interoperable ecosystems vs. two isolated ecosystems, the groups said. “This merger creates an organization that establishes the broad interoperability needed to realize the full market potential for IoT,” they stated.

The AllJoyn certification, specification and marketing activities and relevant assets of the AllSeen Alliance will transfer to OCF and be managed by a newly expanded OCF board of directors. Currently, nearly 500 million AllJoyn-enabled products are in the market. 

Qualcomm created the AllSeen Alliance in 2013 and has been a board member of both the AllSeen Alliance and Open Connectivity Foundation. 

“Our goal for a long time has been to work within both organizations to help establish a single standard as we believe this is one of the best ways to fight fragmentation in the IoT space,” the company said in a statement to FWT prior to today's announcement. “In our view, the optimal outcome would be a unification of the work of the AllSeen Alliance and the Open Connectivity Foundation, which would include a unification of the AllJoyn and IoTivity codebases.”

Last week, the OCF announced that it has opened six certification labs around the world to expand its certification program, allowing members to introduce products to the market on a more global scale. Labs are currently open in Beaverton, Oregon; Taipei, Taiwan; Yongin, South Korea; Louisville, Colorado; Seongnam, South Korea; and Fremont, California.

For more:
- see this press release
- see this Stacey Knows Things report

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