Open Source Tears Down Walled Gardens to Connect Internet of Everything

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The numbers are staggering. Gartner predicts that the Internet of Everything or the Internet of Things -- autonomous communication between a wide range of everyday devices, objects and applications – will add $1.9 trillion to the global economy by 2020. McKinsey Global Institute pegs the potential economic impact at $2.7 trillion to $6.2 trillion by 2025. ABI Research says the number of wirelessly connected devices on the market, now 10 billion, will triple by the end of the decade.

Could anything stand in the way of such a juggernaut?

Well, yes. A big impediment to the Internet of Everything’s economic promise and technology advances is interoperability -- the ability to intelligently share information across electronic devices and systems regardless of product brand. The Internet of Everything doesn’t work unless “everything” works together.

There have been attempts to solve this interoperability challenge the old-fashioned way. Some vendors have tried to corner the market with proprietary solutions -- a crippling contradiction when the basic requirement of the Internet of Everything is interoperability across vendors and brands. Standards-setting initiatives have cropped up -- inefficient when, say, every company that makes a tiny light switch needs to implement a 500-page technical spec.

The answer here is clear: Open source is the ideal, neutral staging area for collaboration that can provide the interoperability layer needed to make the Internet of Everything a reality. When everyone jointly develops and uses the same freely available code, companies can develop innovative services on top of it and get them to market faster. This is why the majority of the consumer electronics industry, the high-performance computer industry, the world’s stock exchanges, Facebook, Google, Amazon, Twitter and every Android device rely on the Linux kernel.  Why would all them to try and produce non-differentiating infrastructure software that requires a development pace of 10,000 lines of code a day?

Put simply: Shared development is the way of addressing complex technology and business opportunities.

That’s why we’re so excited to today announce the AllSeen Alliance. The AllSeen Alliance is the broadest cross-industry consortium to date dedicated to advancing adoption and innovation in the Internet of Everything in homes and industry. Founding members of the AllSeen Alliance include more than 20 of the world’s leading, consumer electronics makers, home appliances manufacturers, service providers, enterprise technology companies and chipset manufacturers, including Haier, LG Electronics, Panasonic, Qualcomm, Sharp, Sears, Silicon Image, TP-LINK and Cisco, among others.

AllSeen Alliance members will contribute software and engineering resources as part of their collaboration on an open framework, based on the AllJoyn open source project, that enables hardware manufacturers and software developers to create interoperable devices and systems that can discover, connect and communicate directly with other nearby products regardless of brand. This goes far beyond simply defining a standard and hoping people will adopt it.  This is working code that everyone can freely use. By adopting the same code base this project will enable higher levels of compatibility needed for a world of billions of connected devices.   

History has proven that open source software and collaborative development can speed complex technology challenges that when those challenges are overcome, unleash new opportunities for consumer experiences. The AllSeen Alliance aims to take a page from the Linux and open source playbook to deliver the connected home and business of the future while helping to turn those analyst forecasts into real revenue for the world’s most innovative companies and new experiences for consumers and business users.