The Internet of Things can seem like a rather abstract concept, but now a group of corporations calling themselves the AllSeen Alliance wants to unify it into one network of communication.
The Alliance is made up of big name companies like Qualcomm, LG, Sharp, Panasonic, Cisco and HTC.
Also in the newly formed alliance are Haier, Silicon Image, Musaic, Sears Brand Management Corporation, The Sprosty Network, Weaved and Wilocity, to name a few.
The companies have pledged to seek to promote unified communications standards for all connected devices, be they baby monitors, smartphones, televisions, refrigerators or other, regardless of brand.
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What's next? Smart light switches?
The Linux Foundation, a group dedicated to the growth of Linux, open source development, and standardization, issued a statement in support of the Alliance.
The AllSeen Alliance seeks to "ensure that more and more electronic products can work together, regardless of brand, in the new era of smarter technology," the Foundation, which is playing host to the group, said.
"The move is aimed at accelerating the Internet of Everything, which will transform homes and businesses with a wide range of everyday devices, objects and machines that are always connected and communicating."
Qualcomm President Rob Chandhok had an interesting hypothetical for Venture Beat as well.
"You can start out with a light switch just being a light switch, but it can also send a signal that you turn it off and on, and it can learn your patterns and get smarter," he said.
"It can notice that you always turn on another light after you turn on this light, and it can ask, 'Do you want me to turn this light on?'"
The Alliance members, by the way, will work with a framework based on Qualcomm's open-source AllJoyn protect. Using Wi-Fi or another network, AllJoyn lets different devices communicate with one another.
Internet of opportunities
When all sorts of devices can communicate with one another easily, the Internet of Things will be more universal, as devices from different makers will be able to interact organically.
Security cameras will be able to send images to your TV, and your front door will send signals to your thermostat. Or whatever.
Plus these companies benefit from the fact that consumers won't feel as locked into individual brands' device ecosystems, and device makers will have more opportunities to sell their wares.
It's a win-win, until of course our gadgets start insulting us. Then we may have some losers in the game.