The Linux Foundation just announced the formation of the AllSeen Alliance, a nonprofit consortium dedicated to driving the widespread adoption of connected products that support an open, universal development framework based on the AllJoyn open source project.
This is a pretty big deal. We think that a major barrier to realizing the full promise of the Internet of Everything is the absence of a unified framework that prioritizes intelligent interoperability across systems regardless of transport layer, platform, OS or brand. “Solutions” for connecting devices today are characterized by proprietary approaches that have created one silo after another, resulting in a lot of highly capable devices and systems that just don’t work together.
Qualcomm Innovation Center, Inc., Qualcomm’s open source subsidiary, launched the AllJoyn open source project in 2009, in part to address this very issue. AllJoyn is based on the concept of self-describing devices and the ability to dynamically learn about what devices are around you and what capabilities or interfaces they have that you may want to interact with. This concept of "introspection" allows for what we call dynamic ad hoc networks. We think this is extremely important if you want your connected devices to be forward compatible.
Some of the partners we have been working with have been focusing on enabling specific use cases around interaction with one or two specific devices. But because all these systems speak AllJoyn, we are constantly delighted with new, surprising experiences. Imagine for a moment… a security system that was originally designed to ensure that various sensors can trigger an IP camera and send alerts to your smartphone, suddenly extends its capabilities and usability when it discovers AllJoyn-enabled TVs and light bulbs in the vicinity. Through AllJoyn, these disparate systems could automatically discover, engage and interact, resulting in new experiences. Now not only would it be possible for an alert to be sent to your phone, but messages can pop up on TVs around the house and the lights in your home can start to flash in different colors to scare the intruder.
Device makers are excited because, by using AllJoyn, they can make products which not only have the ability to engage other devices, but that ability can be enhanced well after the end user has purchased their product. We believe this will be a real competitive advantage as consumers learn to look for and prefer devices that they can easily integrate into their AllJoyn-based proximal networks. And consumers will look for these products because they will know that what they buy today will work with and be enhanced by what they buy tomorrow.
Qualcomm has recognized the need that a project with such an ambitious goal—enabling various device types from many brands to interact easily—needed to be managed by a community of like-minded companies, all with a stake in the broad adoption and expansion of AllJoyn. This is precisely what the AllSeen Alliance is—just look at its initial membership. Through the alliance, AllJoyn will be expanded and augmented with contributions from various companies and technology leaders around the world. We're excited because we know that open source software and pan-industry collaboration can advance technologies quickly, spur innovation and move markets.
With AllJoyn, its service frameworks that ensure interoperability, and the AllSeen Alliance, the Internet of Everything is that much closer to reality. We are excited to see the innovative, new devices that will be launched in 2014 from our partners and with the help of the alliance. Qualcomm is deeply committed to the collaborative efforts of the AllSeen Alliance and will continue to work hard to make substantive contributions to AllJoyn and its service frameworks. Next year will be the most exciting year yet as AllJoyn moves beyond your phone and peer-to-peer apps and starts to enter your connected home. What killer experiences will you enable with AllJoyn?
If you are interested in being a part of this exciting collaboration, please visit the AllSeen Alliance website for more information.