'Rise of the Machines': oneM2M releases specs for M2M

Declaring "the Rise of the Machines" in announcing the "world's first" global standards for M2M development, the oneM2M standards organization this week unveiled standards that are designed to serve as building blocks for machine-to-machine (M2M) and Internet of Things (IoT) applications that interwork going forward.

While a lot of organizations are rallied around the IoT and M2M, the oneM2M initiative is somewhat unique in that its members include standards organizations from around the world, including the U.S.' ATIS and TIA, China's CCSA, Japan's ARIB and TTC, Europe's ETSI and  Korea's TTA. Throw in a few more acronyms for good measure: the BBF (Broadband Forum), HGI (Home Gateway Initiative), OMA (Open Mobile Alliance), as well as Continua and the New Generation M2M Consortium (Japan), and you've got yourself a well-rounded set of  contributing partners.

That's a pretty comprehensive list, and if any key organization or entity is missing, it's not on the radar of the oneM2M leadership, according to Andrew White, ATIS vice president of technology and standards who represents ATIS in the oneM2M endeavor.

Specifically, oneM2M issued its Release 1 global standards, a set of 10 specs that address everything from API specifications and security solutions to mapping to common industry protocols such as CoAP, MQTT and HTTP. oneM2M Release 1 also makes use of OMA and Broadband Forum specifications for device management capabilities--because, why reinvent the wheel?

The group says it's enabling re-use of what already exists as much as possible. "Release 1 provides sufficient building blocks to enable today's generation of M2M and IoT applications to interwork with each other," oneM2M said in a press release, calling itself "the global standards initiative" for M2M and the IoT.

More than 200 member companies from the across the world contributed to Release 1's development through the seven leading ICT standards development organizations and five industry consortia that founded oneM2M, according to the press release.

Discussions around the need for M2M consolidation and the need for standardization started in the 2011 timeframe, and the organization officially got underway in July 2012.

The industry is moving from very hardware-centric solutions to software, and "the biggest challenge I think is building those new connections," ATIS' White told FierceWirelessTech. Industries that maybe in the past wouldn't have talked to each other are now having to talk with one another, and the vocabularies can be different. "What I call an architecture and what somebody else calls an architecture might not be completely analogous," he said.

ATIS has spent considerable effort in outreach to other industries in an attempt to understand what the core business requirements are and what's required to meet the needs of various participants. "Ten years ago we would have all been in nice clean silos, and that's really not the case anymore," White said. "We're learning a lot as those silos come down."

While Release 1 took a couple years to put together, "we expect Release 2 to take less time than that," he said. A lot of the really heavy lifting already is addressed in the first release, and operators like SK Telecom and LG are progressing toward implementation of Release 1, he said.

While IoT alliances and associations are tackling various aspects of IoT technology, White said oneM2M is more of a middle layer infrastructure play, which increasingly is being influenced by that software. oneM2M says it's creating a distributed software layer--much like an operating system--which is facilitating unification by providing a framework for interworking with different technologies.

In addition to its Release 1 set of specifications, oneM2M also published a white paper, which provides an overview of the issues facing the M2M and IoT market and how oneM2M intends to contribute toward solving them.

For more:
- see the press release

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