Interoperable Internet of Things – Creating the Next Wave in Technology
The IoT (Internet of Things) has potential to increase information access dramatically and transform organizations in virtually every industry. IoT is already bringing advanced technological capabilities to multiple consumers – commercial and industrial – partly because IoT encompasses numerous types of operations, from transportation and logistics to wearable devices and connected homes.
What it promises
Today, there are more than 13 billion interconnected digital and electronic devices operating globally – the equivalent of nearly two devices for every human on earth. Government of India estimates the country’s share to be between five and six percent of the worldwide IoT market by 2020.
IoT will directly alter multiple industries in the Indian economy, including manufacturing, energy, agriculture and transportation. Together, those sectors account for close to half of India’s GDP. IoT will also affect consumers in India, as their everyday devices already connect to the internet through tiny embedded sensors using computing power.
Internet of things requires elusive interoperability
Efficiency of mass transit is gaining importance in an increasingly urbanized world. Interoperability is becoming more and more relevant across all industries including public safety & security, utilities, natural resources, transport, and government & public infrastructure.
Disparate markets are evolving independently, posing a challenge to universal interoperability. Besides, due to the highly competitive economic environment, technologies are evolving and changing rapidly. That makes interoperability difficult to achieve in short time frames. Numerous efforts are currently underway to develop standards and protocols that will help guide future IoT technology development.
Awareness on adoption of open standards by market players and regulators will help in mass market deployment of products, which is the need of the hour for industries.
Key development activities:
- IEEE – IEEE Standards Association is working on multiple fronts to create a standards-based framework to support future development of IoT.
- Open Interconnect Consortium – Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC) consists of more than 50 companies from diverse markets, working to develop open source specifications to support interoperability between various types of IoT technologies.
- Industrial Interconnect Consortium – Industrial Interconnect Consortium (IIC) comprises representatives of industry, government and academia working to develop an open framework architecture, standard specifications and security requirements for IoT technologies.
- Thread Group – Thread Group is dedicated to promoting interoperability of IoT technologies and devices at homes.
- NFC Forum – NFC Forum has been at the forefront of NFC technical specifications development for more than a decade.
- AllSeen Alliance – AllSeen Alliance enables developers to create interoperability applications for IoT technologies that run on most platforms and operating systems.
- AirFuel Alliance – AirFuel Alliance is focused on development of standards to support inductive and resonant wireless-charging technologies.
Ensuring interoperability in Internet of Things
Interoperability is the essence of Internet of Things (IoT). Having the most updated and advanced system is useful if wireless infrastructure is configured to synchronize with its devices. For mobile network operators, IoT indicates huge opportunities, not just from increasing mobile subscriptions, but additional services such as security enhancements for IoT solution providers. But making sure they work together is something the consumer does not see or even care about. How do these devices talk to each other? Different devices employ different technologies, protocols, and connecting devices, which use different languages (protocols). That is a challenge and necessitates some kind of translator or gateway. So how does a manufacturing company know if its product will work in IoT or IoE? The answer is simple: Interoperability testing!
Many certification programs are able to demonstrate interoperability between devices of the same technology, but difficulty multiplies when a number of technologies, protocols, and dynamic systems have to work together. But how can it be demonstrated that it works? That’s where the UL Interop team comes in and designs bespoke ‘interop’ programs to put devices through their paces. The team tries to make it, so that manufacturers can feed the findings back and develop high-performance products. Link
The UL Advantage
- UL is committed to continued development and widespread deployment of technologies in support of the IoT ecosystem. UL’s senior technical experts serve in key leadership positions in many of the current standards development efforts including OIC, Thread Group, NFC Forum and Air Fuel Alliance. UL has extensive experience in IoT technologies, and can conduct testing at locations throughout North America, European Union and Asia.
- Our global presence enables us to offer our customers a full suite of services in their languages and time zones, and to provide access to local experts. We provide integrated quality-system assessments to ease the process of meeting regulatory requirements for multiple countries.
- UL works directly with government agencies around the globe. Our technical experts are active members of industry standards-writing and technical committees.
- UL is just one of two NFC Forum-authorized testing laboratories in North America and the exclusive testing partner for Thread Group’s recently announced certification program.