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Microsoft teams up with Qualcomm in Internet of Things format war

Another decade, another format war
Wed Jul 02 2014, 13:41
Internet of Things street furniture gathering data

MICROSOFT HAS BECOME the latest company to join a group lobbying for an Internet of Things (IoT) standard.

The Allseen Alliance founded by chip-maker Qualcomm is lobbying for the adoption of the open source AllJoyn protocol, which was designed, unsurprisingly, by Qualcomm.

Microsoft joins the 50 strong consortium including Panasonic, LG and Sharp to ensure that everything from thermostats to thermal imaging cameras to thighmasters are able to talk to one another across the connected home.

According to Reuters, rival chip makers intend to launch a consortium in the coming weeks, though their source gave no details. An Intel spokesperson said, "There are multiple forums driving different approaches to solve the challenge of IoT connectivity. Currently, we don't see one single effort that addresses all the necessary requirements."

Intel is backing the Hypercat standard of data sharing for the Internet of Things along with ARM and IBM, but this is a data gathering standard, rather than an interaction protocol.

It would seem therefore that another format war is looming in the spirit of VHS versus Betamax and HD-DVD versus Blu-ray. Google's Nest division recently announced that it was opening its APIs to improve comparability with other wearables, under the "Works With Nest" banner, but proprietary standards continue to dominate.

As The INQUIRER recently discovered, the accuracy of many Internet of Things devices might need to be addressed before inter-device compatibility can be fully explored. It emerged this week that Steve Wozniak sold his Samsung Galaxy Gear on eBay, calling it "worthless". µ


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