A deal between standards groups could help make home IoT easier

The OIC standards group is buying the assets of the Universal Plug and Play Forum

The Internet of Things is moving to the forefront of home networking as the variety of devices that can go online rapidly expands.

Reflecting this trend, the Open Interconnect Consortium is acquiring the assets of the Universal Plug and Play Forum, an organization formed about 15 years ago to standardize discovery and control of networked devices. 

UPnP is used in about 3 billion devices and plays a key background role in wireless home networks, especially the routers that usually sit at the center of them. For example, it's typically what allows a consumer to bring home a wireless printer and start sending print jobs to it with little effort, according to UPnP Forum President Scott Lofgren.

The new breed of connected devices, such as sensors, appliances and locks, is part of the emerging IoT universe. OIC is one of the industry groups addressing that trend, alongside some competing alternatives such as the AllJoyn framework. Founding members of OIC include Intel and Samsung, while AllJoyn came out of a Qualcomm project and is backed by Cisco Systems, Microsoft and other companies.

OIC will acquire "substantially all the assets of the UPnP Forum," the organizations said. In return, OIC will offer membership to everyone in the UPnP group.

The groups hope to consolidate their efforts and achieve greater alignment on IoT standardization. But for the time being, OIC and UPnP product certification will continue to be separate, said Mike Richmond, executive director of OIC. A new working group for UPnP will be hosted at OIC.

UPnP mainly addresses the initial setup of connections among devices, while OIC is focused on the applications that run on top of them once they're set up, Richmond said. His organization is also exploring areas outside the home where UPnP may not apply. But there is some overlap, he said.

With its long history and about 1,000 member companies, UPnP will give OIC greater scale for testing and certification, Richmond said. The acquisition could also substantially boost its membership rolls, he said. But it will be up to each UPnP company to decide whether it wants to align with OIC. Those that don't want to join will be able to get legacy UPnP certification for a fee.

"We are not forcing anybody to join OIC," he said.

The idea for the deal came as the two groups realized they had many members in common and were trying to address some of the same issues, UPnP's Lofgren said. The organizations did not disclose any financial terms of the deal.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?