CES brings the first big crop of AllJoyn IoT products

More than a dozen home devices have been certified to work together

More than a dozen smart-home products at the CES show this week can find and interact with each other through the AllJoyn software framework, one of the major platforms vying to connect the Internet of Things.

The devices include light bulbs, audio systems, an air humidifier and a security camera that can link up to other connected gear. They're the first big batch of products to be certified for AllJoyn interoperability since the first were announced last October: Microsoft's Windows 10 Professional and Surface Pro 3.

Making devices around a home respond to events or adjust themselves to users' needs depends on all the devices communicating at a high level, beyond just sending packets to each other over a network. There isn't a unified way for them to do that yet, but AllJoyn is likely to be one of a few systems that are widely used.

AllJoyn came out of technology developed by Qualcomm, but it's now open source managed by the AllSeen Alliance. That group includes big names like Cisco, IBM, Sony and Haier, and on Wednesday it added 14 new members.

Millions of devices have already shipped with earlier forms of AllJoyn. What's special about the new, certified products is that they've gone through formal tests to make sure they will work with all other certified gear. Some products in customers' hands may be upgraded later to meet the standard.

Here are some of the newly approved products. Some aren't available yet in AllJoyn-certified form.

-- LG Electronics Smart AC WLAN Module, a component for an air conditioner that lets users control it through a smartphone. LG's WebOS TV is also AllJoyn-certified.

-- LIFX color 1000, Color 1000 BR30, White 800 and White 900 BR30 light bulbs, which work on Wi-Fi networks and can be controlled via a smartphone app or through other connected devices.

-- The Heaven Fresh HF 810 humidifier and HF 480 air purifier. They use Wi-Fi for remote control from a smartphone and for coordination with other home appliances, such as a connected stove that could turn on the air purifier any time someone started cooking.

-- Icontrol Networks Piper home security and awareness system, including a video camera that lets users watch their homes whenever they're away. The Piper can also coordinate with other devices in the home, such as lights, over a Z-Wave low-power network.

As an example of how AllJoyn products could work together, Icontrol said the Piper could notify other devices of alarm events like a door opening or motion being detected. For example, it could make notifications appear on an LG TV or turn on a LIFX lightbulb.

CES is shaping up as a coming-out party for many connected consumer devices. The Open Interconnect Consortium, an industry group pushing a standard that competes with AllJoyn, plans to show off a number of products working together in a hotel suite near the show starting Wednesday.

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Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
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