SAN JOSE, Calif. — The landscape of the Internet of Things has become complex and will only get more complicated. Competing platforms are still evolving and pathways to interoperability between them need to be built, according to insiders familiar with the terrain
“At this point you have several competing technologies and a lot of it has to do with how the user interacts with devices, said Michael Anderson, chief scientist at PTR Group, an engineering and marketing services company.
Anderson will review the emerging landscape at the Embedded Systems Conference in Boston and Silicon Valley, giving engineers guidance on directions for their IoT products. That’s helpful given how hard vendors are beating the drum for competing platforms such as Thread from Google’s Nest group and two competing Linux Consortium efforts — IoTivity from a group led by Intel and AllSeen promoted by Qualcomm.
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“I’ll talk about the pros and cons of various frameworks, where they came from and who’s behind them and draw the landscape if you are interested in setting a product direction that’s interoperable,” said Anderson
All across the industry chip, system and software makers are trying to come to grips with the fast moving IoT terrain, For his part, Cees Links, chief executive and founder of Green Peak Technologies, a Zigbee chip vendor, recently published a white paper online on his views of the landscape
The focus of Zigbee, a set of spec that have evolved over the last several years, is on low power nodes that may operate for years on coin-cell batteries — something WiFi cannot enable. Zigbee’s more recent competitors include 6LoWPAN, a similarly low power 802.15.4-based alternative which supports the IPv6 version of the Internet Protocol. The rise of 6LoWPAN helped motivate Zigbee to come up with its own IP-based variant.
In its white paper, Green Peak admits it did not try to include in its landscape some alternatives such as cellular, DECT, RFID and proprietary specifications such as Z-Wave, EnOcean and others which further complicate the terrain. “The sooner this complex material is sorted out, the better it will be for everyone,” the white paper concludes.
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