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IEEE standards group wants to bring order to IoT

Stephen Lawson | Sept. 22, 2014
The IEEE is embarking on an ambitious effort to build a overarching architecture for the Internet of Things, spanning a multitude of industries and technologies.

"If we don't look at the lessons today in health care, the Internet of Things is not going to be an Internet of Things, it's going to be a pile of things," Goldman said.

The P2413 group hopes to define the basic building blocks of IoT systems that are common across industries, Logvinov said. Among other things, it hopes to turn the information coming from different platforms into commonly understood data objects, he said. It hopes to finish the standard by 2016, a goal that Logvinov acknowledged is ambitious.

A standard that spans IoT will be hard to build, but so will IoT itself, which may represent the next phase of the industrial revolution, he said.

"It's worth the effort," Logvinov said. "It's worth trying to build."

There are too many vendors and groups pushing overlapping specifications for IoT, said Michael Holdmann, executive vice president of sales, marketing and strategy at Coversant, in an interview at the forum. Coversant sells communications software that's used in some IoT systems today.

"People are just trying to do things that are already out there," Holdmann said.

He welcomes the P2413 effort but said it will be important for the group to coordinate with other organizations. In time, people trying to use IoT will demand some kind of order, he said. "The market is going to drive the standards bodies to cooperate."

Coordination with other organizations, including ETSI (the European Telecommunications Standards Institute), ISO (International Organization for Standardization) and the machine-to-machine group oneM2M, is part of the P2413 game plan, Logvinov said. There are currently 23 vendors and organizations represented in the P2413 group, including Cisco Systems, Huawei Technologies, General Electric, Oracle, Qualcomm and the ZigBee Alliance.

 

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