We’re all in this together

M2M Alliance and Eclipse: Working to fight the dark forces of fragmentation

Lucy Carey

World’s largest IoT organisation joins forces with open source giant to help steer the future of the technology.

It’s been in the offing for a while now, but last week, it was officially confirmed that the M2M Alliance, the world’s largest professional machine-to-machine association, and software experts the Eclipse Foundation will be joining forces.

The M2M Alliance is a cross-industry group of companies interested in the potential of (and potential profits from) the Internet of Things, and its 76 strong members include T-Mobile, Huawei, Vodafone, and Intel.

Now a full card carrying member of the Eclipse Associate Member and Eclipse Membership At Large communities, in a press release, the Alliance states their intention to support the globally operating open source community and contribute to the development of new technologies, solutions and standards.

This partnership certainly makes sense. There’s already a growing M2M presence within the open source community. For example, the Eclipse M2M Working Group, a collaboration of individuals and organizations who are building a community of open source projects for M2M and Internet of Things (IoT) applications.

The goal of the community is to provide M2M frameworks, protocols and tools that can be used in commercial products and applications. Current Eclipse M2M projects include: Mihini, Koneki , Paho, the Eclipse SmartHome project, Ponte, and Krikkit.

With industry experts predicting up to 80 billion connected devices to go live by 2020, there’s a small but growing movement within the industry to work to avoid fragmentation and silos within this burgeoning sector. But, as the lack of even a singular name for the concept demonstrates, an overarching common vision for the technology is yet to be forged. At the moment, as well as ‘M2M’, the IoT is also referred to as the Industrial Internet, the Internet of Everything, and the Internet of Objects.

As Daniel Robinson notes, whilst there is a lot of talk of Jetsons style smart houses and intelligent kitchenware just around the corner, in reality, “Just how all of this is supposed to work is noticeably absent from any discussion of the Internet of Things.”

Partnerships such as that of the M2M Alliance and Eclipse can only serve to foster intelligent, and, essentially, realistic dialogue between industry leaders. And, for a technology couched on the concept of objects being able to ‘talk’ to each other, that can only be a good thing.

Image by License nycscout

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