Intel, Dell team up on standards for connected gadgets
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[July 08, 2014]
By Noel Randewich
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) -
Samsung Electronics, Intel Corp and Dell have joined to
establish standard ways for household gadgets like
thermostats and light bulbs to talk to each other, at
odds with a framework backed by Qualcomm, LG Electronics
and other companies.
The new Open Interconnect Consortium, like the Qualcomm-supported
AllSeen Alliance, aims to establish how smart devices work together
in a trend increasingly called the Internet of Things.
Manufacturers are rolling out growing numbers of Internet-connected
burglar alarms, televisions and light switches. But like the early
days of video cassette recorders, current smart home products are
often incompatible with each other.
The new consortium, which also includes chipmakers Broadcom and
Atmel, was announced in a news release late on Monday.
Doug Fisher, general manager of Intel's Software and Services Group,
told Reuters that the framework to be developed by the new
consortium would address security and other issues not adequately
handled by the AllSeen group.
The potential emergence of smart household products made by
manufacturers using two sets of incompatible standards would be
incidental, he said.
"We're not out to create that. We just think the industry has spoken
and there's this approach that's needed," Fisher said. "We're
certainly welcoming others to participate."
Last week, Microsoft became the 51st member of the AllSeen Alliance,
which also includes Sharp Corp and other consumer electronics
Rob Chandhok, senior vice president of Qualcomm Technologies Inc,
compared the two competing standards groups to walled-off online
services in the early 1990s before widespread Internet use.
"It's better for us to have an industry-wide shared platform than to
be divided," Chandhok said. "I don't want to get to a 'Prodigy and
CompuServe' of the Internet of Things."
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Technology heavyweights Apple and Google are also pursuing their own
ways of interconnecting household devices.
Apple, known for strictly controlling how other companies' products
interact with its own, in June announced HomeKit, which will
integrate control of devices like lights and thermostats.
Google's Nest has also partnered with companies including Whirlpool
Corp and light bulb maker LIFX to integrate their products with its
thermostats and smoke detectors.
(Reporting by Noel Randewich; Editing by Jan Paschal)
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