Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Samsung and LG IoT products may soon be able to communicate with each other

Samsung went big on the idea of Internet of Things (IoT). It acquired SmartThings way back in 2014 to bring IoT features to its appliances, home automation devices, TVs, smartphones, and more. Many brands, including Amazon, Apple, Google, IKEA, LG, Logitech, Philips, and Qualcomm, have jumped onto the IoT bandwagon by now. However, IoT products from these brands don’t play well with each other, and interoperability among IoT products needs a lot of improvement.

Now, it is being reported by The Korea Herald that Samsung and LG have decided to develop products that are certified by the Open Connectivity Foundation. Even though the OCF was formed last year, more than 300 brands have joined the foundation to improve interoperability of products. Samsung has reportedly started getting its air conditioners, refrigerators, and smartphones (including the Galaxy S8 and S8+) certified by the OCF, and LG has similar plans.

With two of the largest home appliances brands getting their upcoming products certified by the OCF, we might see other brands following the suit. The Open Connectivity Foundation develops specification standards and certifies IoT devices, which would make it easier for IoT products from different brands to talk to each other, making the life of a consumer easier. It is possible that consumers could be able to control an LG refrigerator from their Samsung TV in the future.

Broadcom, Intel, and Samsung were the founding members of Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC), which was established in 2014. However, shortly after, Broadcom left over disputes on how to handle intellectual property. The first version of specifications was released in September 2015. Early last year, Electrolux, Microsoft, and Qualcomm joined the consortium, and OIC changed its name to OCF. You can have a look at more than 300 brands that joined the OCF here.