The Jetsons showed us what life can be like when every device and appliance in our home is connected. We’re incredibly close to that point. Right now, we can surf the Internet from our refrigerator. Or program our DVR from our smartphone while we’re on the road.
The one thing The Jetsons didn’t consider is what happens when all of our appliances are from different brands and each is running on its own operating system. Lights and appliances can communicate with one another, but only if they’re both using the same proprietary applications from the same manufacturer. And users must configure their smartphones or other devices for each and every brand. Easy communication isn’t so easy after all.
To allow for seamless integration between appliances and devices, the Linux Foundation, a nonprofit that oversees the development of operating systems, has just announced the AllSeen Alliance, a consortium of leading manufacturers dedicated to building and maintaining an open source framework.
Companies like Cisco, Panasonic, LG, and Sears have joined the effort to reduce customers’ frustration in dealing with different systems. AllSeen is led by San Diego chip maker Qualcomm, which contributed its AllJoyn technology to the cause.
Said Sean Hollister of The Verge, “Instead of dictating that devices have to connect with each other over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth or Zigbee and having users painstakingly pair those devices, AllJoyn can do it all, automatically discovering devices and negotiating connections with whichever protocols are available.”
AllSeen Alliance: Internet of Everything
Through AllSeen, companies can get closer to creating the Internet of Everything (IoE), in which everything you use – from your heating system to your TV – is connected to the Internet. Technology research company Gartner reports that IoE will add $1.9 trillion to the global economy by 2020. In addition, there are 10 billion wirelessly connected devices on the market now with that number set to triple within the decade.
In the near future, you won’t have to download drivers or apps for each communication-enabled device or appliance. Your appliances will be able to communicate with one another and give you full control over how you use them. Your lights could turn on in your home when it senses your car is pulling into your street. Or your stove would share recipes or stream music when you’re stuck in the kitchen.
While automation in terms of one’s personal and home life is incredible, the difference IoE and AllSeen can make in healthcare, retail and manufacturing is outstanding – and even potentially life-saving. Gartner notes, for instance, smart slippers for the elderly, which contain sensors, can detect falls and other medical conditions. When there is a problem, the doctor is detected via email or text.
AllSeen is a significant turning point in the world of technology. By working together, developers and manufacturers can improve efficiency and cost-effectiveness across the board. When the first AllSeen products are introduced this January, they will set the course for an exciting new future The Jetsons could never have imagined.
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