Microsoft just made its ambitions in the smart home and other connected devices evident: The Windows maker has now joined the AllSeen Alliance, a group banded together to set a common language for the Internet of Things—namely Qualcomm’s AllJoyn standard.
AllSeen, which boasts members such as Haier, Sears, LG, Panasonic and Qualcomm, among others, appears to be Microsoft’s answer to Apple’s recently announced HomeKit protocol and Google’s recent moves to put Android everywhere, from TVs and wrists to cars. Google didn’t announce any specific connected home or IoT plans at its developer conference last week, but its interest in the sector has been quite clear after it acquired smart thermostat maker Nest and connected home camera startup Dropcam.
Microsoft has been quietly and subtly approaching the smart home market, most recently supporting the Staples Connect platform on Windows 8 devices and selling Insteon connected home devices on a retail basis.
The AllSeen Alliance wants to make a wireless standard and communications platform for all smart home connected devices. AllJoyn is an open source product that provides a common communication language for all connected home apps and was originally developed in the Qualcomm Innovation Center.
Image of Windows Surface tablet, running Staples Connnect smart home app, courtesy of Staples