As the number of wireless IoT applications continue to grow exponentially, there has to be a set of common standards for how all these networked products effectively talk to each other. So, who decides the rules? Multiple standards bodies are emerging, each competing to be the one authority deciding which wireless protocols manufacturers should design their products around. Which ones are actually gaining traction among the manufacturing community, and which are mostly just for show or controlled by giant manufacturers?
Emerging Ahead of the Pack
There are several fledgling IoT standards organizations out there, some with a particular industry focus. Two in particular are already establishing themselves ahead of others, especially where the manufacturing industry is concerned. Open Internet Consortium (OIC) was formed in July 2014 in a combined effort by Intel, Samsung, and Broadcom. The OIC is focused on developing strategies covering multiple verticals at once from automotive, consumer, enterprise, healthcare, industrial, smart homes, and industrial. It was jointly founded in March 2014 by Cisco, AT&T, IBM, Intel, and GE. The OIC is aimed at assembly lines, factory floors, shipping docks, and other related industrial and manufacturing areas. OIC wasn’t created to set standards or protocols, but rather to create test beds and use cases for real-life scenarios. The organization’s standards serve as guidelines for other organizations when it comes to how they can regulate IoT protocols.
While these joint efforts among multiple manufacturers represent a potential objective future for IoT standardization some of the largest players in the IoT space are still apparently trying to go it alone, establishing their own product standards under the assumption that smaller vendors will eventually bend to their will. Bosch is well known in the IoT arena, pioneering micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS). In an effort to remain competitive in the industry, the company began offering a cloud service in 2016. Today, consumers can find Bosch sensors and technology in IoT home products, such as smart thermostats. ARM was traditionally a British company, until acquisition by Japan’s SoftBank Group in 2016. ARM continues to be a dominant supplier of chips often found in popular consumer wireless products, such as smartphones.
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