Two IoT alliances announced on Wednesday a liaison agreement to drive cross platform interoperability, a key concern in the smart home market.
The Thread Group and Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF) revealed the news of the agreement in a press release. It said that the two alliances would let members easily design connected devices using both standards, without any compatibility issues.
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While the two alliances don’t work on the same ‘layer’, having interoperability between the two should avoid hiccups in the future. The Thread Group supports the Thread network protocol, designed by Alphabet’s Nest Labs as a way for smart home devices to better communicate. OCF is a much larger alliance, focused on setting the standards and certification for IoT devices of all sizes.
Some of the largest corporations sit on both alliances, including Samsung and Qualcomm, so it makes sense that the two alliances would enter into an agreement to avoid conflict in the future.
Alliances getting together a signal to other protocols?
An approval from OCF may be a signal to other IoT protocols that it is time to consolidate, though we doubt the ZigBee Alliance and Bluetooth SIG are ready to accept Thread as the primary networking protocol for the Internet of Things.
“Thread Group members identified and prioritised OCF as a strategically important application layer to run over the Thread wireless mesh network,” said Thread Group president, Grant Erickson. “In order for consumers to put their faith in the connected home, their experience must be simple, reliable, and effortless. This agreement takes us one step closer to our common goal of ensuring that consumers will have smart home devices that seamlessly work together out of the box, regardless of their brand or function.”
Even with the agreement, we are still in the early days of IoT and are bound to see more confusion and fragmentation as consumers and enterprise start to invest more into connected devices. That’s not even taking into consideration the changes to networking that are coming from the adoption of 5G and other high-speed internet solutions.