SAN JOSE, Calif. – Two groups with competing application frameworks for the consumer Internet of Things agreed to merge their approaches. The Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF) and the AllSeen Alliance will unite under the OCF name and bylaws.
The news paves the way to a common open-source framework that should provide the most viable alternative to smart home environments from Apple and Google. The two groups were operating as separate open-source projects managed by the Linux Foundation. Both have established, separate reference designs—Iotivity for OCF and AllJoyn for AllSeen.
Although the combined group did not set specific dates for its work, it did sketch out its plans.
As a first step, it “will describe bridged, bidirectional support between the AllJoyn 16.04 and Iotivity 1.1 implementations,” something AllJoyn largely demonstrated with its Device System Bridge, a representative said in an email exchange. In addition, it will “integrate features such as introspection and advanced security management along with native remote access interfaces into a combined Iotivity roadmap.”
The united OCF group will maintain both reference designs and merge the best elements of both into one under the name Iotivity. The group pledged current Iotivity and AllJoyn devices will run on the new framework.
The merger is the biggest step to date among a fragmented set of IoT application environments that have moved to greater collaboration and consolidation over the past year. It comes at a time of fierce competition between Apple with its HomeKit application framework and Google with its emerging Weave protocol.
With the merger the OCF expanded its board of directors to include executives from AB Electrolux, CableLabs, Canon, Inc., Cisco Systems, Inc., GE Digital, Haier, Intel, LG Electronics, Inc., Microsoft, Qualcomm, Samsung Electronics, and Technicolor SA.