Panasonic to make some IoT technologies royalty-free

The company wants to help foster new development in IoT

Panasonic is contributing some of its own software and patents to the cause of making the Internet of Things work.

The company's North American arm will provide royalty-free access to some IoT software and patents from its products, hoping to foster development of new IoT software and services. While machine-to-machine connections are nothing new, IoT is intended to allow more things to talk to each other and more applications to run over the networks that link those things.

Panasonic, best known for consumer electronics, has been selling IoT hardware and software for years in both consumer and industrial settings, especially in North America, said Todd Rytting, CTO of Panasonic Corp. of North America. Opening up some of its technology will help developers find new ways to make it work with other IoT components in widely supported implementations, he said.

The company is contributing this intellectual property to the OpenDOF Project, a non-profit group created by Panasonic but open to anyone. Panasonic formed OpenDOF, which stands for Open Distributed Object Framework, to drive development of network services for devices with limited resources such as power and memory.

There are many different networks and protocols in IoT, which spans a wide range of industries. That will always be true, so there will have to be bridges between them, Rytting said. That's part of what OpenDOF will try to achieve.

Panasonic is also stepping up its work with the AllSeen Alliance, one of the major groups working on ways to connect IoT devices and services. It will participate in AllSeen's working group for gateways, which link local IoT networks with the Internet. Gateways can take the form of dedicated boxes or of functions built into appliances such as set-top boxes or TVs.

Stephen Lawson covers mobile, storage and networking technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Stephen on Twitter at @sdlawsonmedia. Stephen's e-mail address is stephen_lawson@idg.com

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