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If there is strength in numbers, there is a whole lot of strength in the open source movement for Internet of Things technology. On January 14, the IoTivity open source project announced a preview release of of its technology that is being developed as a Linux Foundation Collaboration Project.
The Linux Foundation is also the home of the AllSeen Alliance IoT project that is based around Qualcomm's open-source AllJoyn framework. It is unclear if there is any overlap between IoTivity and AllSeen's inititiatives. The Linux Foundation did not respond to a request for a comment from Datamation on any potential overlap between the projects. That said, there has always been a lot of choice within the Linux and open source ecosystem and having multiple IoT options isn't a surprise.
The initial code for the IoTivity project is being contributed by members of the Open Internet Consortium. The OIC is a multi-stakeholder organization and includes Intel, GE Software, Samsung and Cisco among its members.
The model underlying IoTivity goes beyond just basic 802.11 wireless connectivity to more fully enable the emerging world of Internet of Things (IoT) devices and services.
"The IoTivity resource model that applications interact with is explicitly decoupled from any underlying transport (like IP over 802.11) by an abstraction layer," Mark Sharpness, Technical Steering Committee (TSC) chair of IoTivity, explained to Datamation. "This architecture allows the addition of modules for additional transports without requiring changes to the applications."
Sharpness added that the IoTivity 0.9 release has support for IP over WiFI and Bluetooth as well as Bluetooth LE and the plan is to add support for additional transport protocols in the coming months.
Inclusiveness with the broader market of devices is also part of the IoTivity approach.
"IoTivity also supports plug-ins that provide compatibility with devices that don’t run OIC code," Sharpness said. "For example, we can interact with a Zigbee-based device today prior to having native support for Zigbee in the IoTivity code."
With IoTivity now a Linux Foundation Collaboration project and 0.9 release available for potential users to try, the focus now is on continuing to mature the framework.
"IoTivity is working towards the 1.0 release, which will be a product-quality implementation ready for product integration, targeted for the first half of this year," Sharpness said. "We expect to see products using the IoTivity code in the second half of this year."
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Datamation and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist
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