Building an IoT Babel

Industrial Internet Consortium forms to drive forward next “revolution”

Lucy Carey

Not for profit corporate group joins Eclipse and M2M Alliance in fight to accelerate development of a safe and organized Internet of Things.

Fragmentation is a big potential stumbling block for
the rise of the Internet of Things. With future profits hedged on
the ability of objects to align with digital systems, it’s in the
interests of everyone involved to ensure that the IoT moves forward
in an orderly and standardized fashion. The
Eclipse Foundation
and M2M Alliance are already pioneering
players in this field, and yesterday a new group of companies threw
their collective hats into the ring.

On Thursday,

Cisco Systems
General Electric
and Intel announced the
of the “Industrial Internet Consortium”, or IIC, a
not-for-profit group formed with the objective of hastening and
shaping the development of the IoT across a range of business

Reflecting the “industrial” focus of the IIC, the group’s
interests will extend to areas such as  manufacturing, oil and
gas exploration, healthcare and transportation. GE Software VP Bill
Ruh has stated that the consortium may well also dabble in home
 and building energy management.

According to the press
, the consortium will work together to “enable
organizations to more easily connect and optimize assets,
operations and data to drive agility and to unlock business value
across all industrial sectors.” They plan to do this by fostering
innovation in delivering best practice scenarios, case studies,
reference architectures, and standards requirements for companies
working to connect the cyber and physical worlds.

Although the five powerhouse founders will hold
permanent seats on an elected steering committee for the
consortium, membership is open for anyone who interested in helping
to accelerate the Industrial Internet. Whilst there are currently
vendors who provide software and hardware that plays nicely
together, for example, in tech used in vending machines that send
alerts when stocks are running low, it’s not always easy to provide
solutions that neatly slot into third-party systems.

The consortium hopes that going forward, they can make
it easier for companies to produce interoperable products – saving
a lot of headaches for everyone. Or, as the release portentously
puts it, create “substantial benefits, not just for any one
organization, but for humanity.”

Tonk Shakib, VP of Cisco’s IoT Business Group, commented
that the group “sends a message to everyone that we all have to
play with each other.” By 2020, there are expected to be billions
of interconnected devices pulsing out data all around us. But for
now, IoT VP at Cisco Jouret says that ““Ninety-nine percent of
everything is still unconnected”. If the predictions come to
fruition, the rise of the IoT could truly be “the next industrial

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