SAN FRANCISCO — Application frameworks for the Internet of Things competed for which were running in more systems at the Consumer Electronics Show this year. Analysts ruled it nearly a draw and called for warring camps to come together to avoid prolonged fragmentation.
The frameworks specify interfaces that abstract away details of underlying physical transports, making it easier for developers to write applications and access systems services. Among the more influential alternatives are Google's Weave protocol for its smart home OS Brillo and Apple's HomeKit, which allows Siri to control smart home devices along with the Intel-led Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC) and the AllSeen Alliance originally created by Qualcomm as AllJoyn.
The winner will be the group that attracts the most support in consumer products, said Moor Insights and Strategy analysts Mike Krell and Patrick Moorhead. But that winner did not emerge at CES, raising fears consumer fragmentation could spill into industrial IoT markets.
“Ultimately, for the industry to grow to a large, mainstream market OIC and [AllSeen] need to either find a way to work together or the market will decide for them which one lives,” the analysts wrote. “The industry is being done a disservice by having duplication of effort for very similar goals,” they added.
OIC showcased Atmel sensors, energy harvesting sensors from EnOcean, a Samsung TV, oven, and fridge running its IoTivity reference code. It expects to have software test tools and “everything else” avalable in the next six months.
AllSeen announced several AllJoyn certified products including a smart 802.11ac WLAN module, smart light bulb, an air humidifier and a security camera.
Apple’s iDevices team announced a handful of HomeKit items, including smart in-wall lighting options and sensors for temperature and moisture detection.
Samsung said its entire 2016 Smart TV line-up will be IoT ready and connected with its SmartThings platform. Samsung supports both OIC and AllJoyn.
“Currently, [AllSeen] seems to have a lead. I would like to predict that both OIC and [AllSeen] will continue down their own paths for a while, start agreeing on sub-issues and then ultimately merge efforts,” Krell and Moorhead wrote. “No one is served by having two different groups with the same charter. Right now, I'm not sure I can see that result.