IoTivity

What is it?

IoTivity is an open source project for the IoT sponsored by the Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF) and hosted by the Linux Foundation. A preview release was launched in January 2015. The aim of the project is to develop an open source software framework to seamlessly connect the billions of devices in the emerging Internet of Things, across multiple operating systems and network protocols. It’s effectively a middleware layer that sits between Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and the higher level applications the device uses, providing a standard and open source implementation so devices and services will be able to work together regardless of who makes them.

The biggest rival to IoTivity is AllJoyn, the Qualcomm proposed protocol that is overseen by rival standards group the AllSeen Alliance. Both standards have similar goals and similar technological approaches to those goals in terms of building out a middleware layer between the wireless protocols and the application.

IoTivity Products

IoTivity is still very new with version 1.1 only becoming available in April 2016. At the time of writing no consumer products are known to be available.

Developers who want to get involved with the project can access API’s and submit code for peer review through the project’s Gerrit server. It will be made available across a range of programming languages, operating systems and hardware platforms.

Benefits

As with AllJoyn, IoTivity is an open platform, and is backed by standards group OCF and major players in the industry such as Intel, Samsung and Microsoft. Microsoft has in fact announced that it will be adding IoTivity protocols to Windows 10 later in 2016, which is a huge step forward for IoTivity. Microsoft is offering an open source bridge to connect IoTivity with the already Windows-integrated AllJoyn, which will allow devices from both families to interact.

Downsides

IoTivity is currently lagging behind its main rival AllJoyn, and as with AllJoyn it may be beaten out of the smart home market by Apple’s HomeKit and Google’s Brillo.

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