Deathmatch 2014:The battle to control the Internet of Things (including the smart grid)

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Quick Take:  Technology vendors just can't help themselves. Every time we hit an inflection point on a new technology, they separate themselves in armed groups to battle over standards. Each camp wants to control those standards to give its members a competitive advantage. And so we launch into a multi-year battle that confuses customers and delays mass adoption.

 

The latest fight is over standards to rule the Internet of Things (IoT). As most of you are aware, the smart grid was, in many ways, the first example of the IoT at scale. Now that many utilities have all or part of a smart grid in place, they are being asked to connect it to other "things" -- to smart buildings or smart street lights or smart appliances and so on.

 

That's where the standards come in. I wish I could pick a winner and save you the next three years of sturm und drang. But the best I can do is suggest watchful waiting. Click the links below to visit their sites. Or read this helpful overview of six emerging standards from the CBR tech social network. – Jesse Berst

 

AllSeen Alliance. Development of interoperable peer connectivity and communications based on Qualcomm's AllJoyn protocol. Cisco, LG, Linux Foundation, Microsoft, Panasonic, Qualcomm, Sharp, others.

 

HomeKit. Apple software platform to allow apps to control home devices. Apple, iHome, Philips, Texas Instruments, others.

 

HyperCat. Interoperability layer to allow disparate devices to find each other and interact. ARM, BT, IBM, others.

 

Industrial Internet Consortium.  "Catalyzes, coordinates, and manages the collaborative efforts of industry, academia, and the government." May ultimately collaborate with one or more of the other groups. AT&T, Cisco, GE, IBM, Intel.

 

Open Interconnect Consortium. Open-source software building on Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and Zigbee. Plans to focus on different vertical markets in turn.Atmei, Broadcom, Dell, Intel, Samsung, Wild River, others.

 

The Thread Group. Low-power mesh network alternative to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.ARM, Big Ass Fans, Google (Nest Labs), Samsung, Silicon Labs, Yale Security, others.

 

Jesse Berst is the founder and Chief Analyst of SGN and Chairman of the Smart Cities Council, an industry coalition.

 

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