Do you know about the IoT standards? A gargantuan ecosystem of connected devices, named the Internet of Things, has been expanding all across the globe for the last two decades. Now, the overwhelming number of objects around us is enabled to collect, process and send data to other objects, applications and servers. They cover numerous industries and uses cases, including manufacturing, automotive, medicine, security systems, transportation and much more.
The IoT system can operate and transfer information in the online mode only when the devices are securely connected to a communication network. For instance, imagine you are coming home from a grocery, and your hands are full. No worries! The camera fixed above your door recognizes you, and your door gets unlocked and is already a little open for your convenience.
Basically, you don’t have to imagine such scenarios anymore because they are happening now. It is estimated that there will be around 30 billion IoT connected devices by 2020 and 75 billion devices by 2025.
What is the Importance of Technical Standards?
Standardizing products enables devices to work together, making the products easier to use and more appealing to the end users. Moreover, it also creates competition among manufacturers, which minimizes prices and provides consumer a choice. But what’s in it for the manufacturer?
Usually, companies want to lock you into their products so that you only use their brand. But most of the companies don’t make every type of product. Like, door lock companies don’t usually make dishwashers. The same way automotive product companies don’t usually make medical devices. Therefore, allowing devices to work together actually expands the market for the manufacturer without having to develop products outside of their idiosyncrasy. Moreover, it also allows for smaller niche products to work with the more extensive ones. Beyond that, making devices more versatile and easy to use make such devices more enticing in general so that all manufacturers make more and more products.
Leading the IoT Standards for Interoperability and Security
Where do IoT standards come from? For IoT standards, an organization has been created called the Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF). Basically, it is committed to consumers, businesses and industries to deliver a standard communication platform to ensure interoperability and security of the IoT devices. These IoT standards cover multiple industries, like smart homes, automotive, industrial, scientific and medical industry.
The main goal of OCF for devices from different manufacturers is to operate together seamlessly and securely. Currently, the OCF’s member ship comprises roughly of 400 member organizations, including major software companies, service providers and silicon chip manufacturers. OCF is using an open-source platform called IoTivity that can be embedded in the IoT devices. The primary function of IoTivity is to create middleware that will enable several clients and servers to communicate with one another.
However, OCF is not just about the interoperability. The last release of OCF platform comes with PKI security. At a time, when security is often taken for granted, OCF is committed to the highest level of security possible for low-power limited processing devices. Why is this significant even? Well, we might not think that hacking a light bulb is a big deal, but often the weakest link in a network is the biggest target for cyber hackers. Once they forge in, they can cause irreparable damage. Hence, every device on the network needs to be secured. And not to say the fact that you probably don’t want someone else to be able to unlock your doors, turn off your security devices or control your medical device without your permission or consent.