New Open Connectivity Foundation combines Open Interconnect Consortium and AllSeen Alliance

Update 21 February 2016 — I received email from Sophie Sleck of Blanc & Otis:

OCF is not unifying OIC and AllSeen, this is not a merger of two groups. The technology leaders who have been specifying software protocols for the Internet of Things announced they are now working together to form a new entity. OCF is the successor to OIC; it’s initiatives are about solidifying and trying to reduce fragmentation in the industry.

Also, Meredith Solberg of the Linux Foundation wrote to correct me:

I represent AllSeen Alliance and just wanted to reach out in response to your article with a correction that there has been no merger with AllSeen Alliance. AllSeen is not combining with OIC to form OCF and we remain a separate organization. We do, however, have some overlap with members in common. If you could please issue a correction and include a correction note to your Twitter followers, we’d greatly appreciate it! Want to remain transparent and share accurate info.

So, OCF is the successor to OIC, and we will have to wait for the cooperation between OCF and AllSeen to lead to yet another organization/consortium/foundation/whozis.

A new milestone in the maturation of the Internet of Things has been reached: two contending organizations — the Open Interconnect Consortium (backed by Intel and others), and the AllSeen Alliance (back by Qualcomm and others) are merging to form the Open Connectivity Foundation. (See correction above.)
This is a big step, and one that may help break the logjam in the market. After all, consumers are justifiably concerned about making a bet in home automation — for example — if they are unsure about how various devices may or may not interoperate.
Aaron Tilley points out that IoT has seemed to be, so far, all hat and no cattle:

In some ways, the Internet of Things still feels like empty tech jargon. It’s hard to lump all these different, disparate things together and talk about them in a meaningful way. Maybe once all these things really begin talking to each other, the term will be more appropriate. But for now, there is still a mess in the number of standards out there in the Internet of Things. People have frequently compared it to the VHS-Betamax videotape format war of the 1980s.

The VHS-Betamax format war was not solved by standardization, it was the VHS vendors making the devil’s bargain with porn companies. The OCF may be more like the creation of the SQL standard, where a number of slightly different implementations of relational database technology decided to standardize on the intersection of the various products, and that led to corporations to invest when before they had been stalling.
The consortium includes — beside Intel and Qualcomm — ARRIS, CableLabs, Cisco, Electrolux, GE Digital, Samsung, and Microsoft.
Terry Myerson, Executive Vice President, Windows and Devices Group at Microsoft announced the company’s participation in the creation of the OCF, and spelling out Microsoft’s plans:

We have helped lead the formation of the OCF because we believe deeply in its vision and the potential an open standard can deliver. Despite the opportunity and promise of IoT to connect devices in the home or in businesses, competition between various open standards and closed company protocols have slowed adoption and innovation. […]
Windows 10 devices will natively interoperate with the new OCF standard, making it easy for Windows to discover, communicate, and orchestrate multiple IoT devices in the home, in business, and beyond. The OCF standards will also be fully compatible with the 200 million Windows 10 devices that are “designed for AllSeen” today.
We are designing Windows 10 to be the ideal OS platform for Things, and the Azure IoT platform to be the best cloud companion for Things, and for both of them to interoperate with all Things.

Microsoft was late to the party on mobile, but Nadella’s leadership seems to be all about getting in early on other emerging technologies, like IoT, machine learning, and modern productivity.
Noticeably absent are the other Internet giants: Apple, Amazon, and Google. When will they get on board?

Comcast Xfinity Broadband is now one the largest IPv6 network

Comcast’s Xfinity broadband network — 20.28 million subscribers — is on its way to becoming one of world’s largest IPv6 networks, thanks to a new software upgrade by ARRIS (s ARRS), a cable equipment maker. The Suwanee, Ga.-based company (that also includes Motorola’s Home Business) recently released a software upgrade that has enabled IPv6 support for more than 4 million ARRIS TG862 gateways —boxes that are used to connect to the Internet, offer phone service and act as a wireless access point—  currently deployed across the Comcast (s CMCSA) broadband network. Comcast has been planning to completely rollout IPv6 across its network by early 2014.

Achtung! Arris shows off 4.7 Gbps cable speeds.

Arris and Kabel Deutschland, Germany’s largest cable service provider, have managed to field test cable equipment that delivers fiber-like speeds of 4.7 gigabits per second. While those speeds aren’t for the real world, it shows that cable can hold its ground with fiber.

Comcast likely to show off gigabit cable broadband

Comcast will show off a 1 gigabit per second connection on Thursday at The Cable Show in Chicago according to reports. An industry blog reports the nation’s top broadband provider would show off the gigabit connection and launch a symmetrical 100 Mbps speed tier.

Forget fiber; cable shows off 4.5 Gbps speeds

The cable business isn’t going to cede its share of the broadband market by waiting around for coaxial cable to become obsolete, and now cable providers won’t have to make an expensive transition to a fiber-to-the-home infrastructure to achieve gigabit networks.

Quick Tip: Change iPhone App Icons Without Jailbreak

I stumbled across a nifty little way of changing the icons of iOS apps. It’s simple, works on both Mac and PC, and best of all, you don’t have to jailbreak to get it to work. No more ugly app icons cluttering up your home screen.

ARRIS Group to Acquire Digeo for $20M

Arris (s ARRS) announced today that it will acquire the assets of Digeo, Inc. for roughly $20 million in cash.
Kirkland, Wash.-based Digeo, which was founded by Paul Allen in 1999, was originally set up to deliver stock and sports information through set-top boxes. In 2002, the company received $110 million, part of which it used to purchase Moxi Digital, a move that pushed the company into the high-end DVR market.
Digeo hit a rough patch in January of 2008 when it laid off half its staff, changed its exec team and trimmed its product line. According to the Seattle Times, fewer than 10 of Digeo’s 75 employees will be laid off as a result of the Arris deal.
More details will be made available during a conference call tomorrow morning.

Cable Operators Mull IPTV As They Roll Out Faster Broadband

motorola-docsis-30-modems-cmts-tx32As cable companies transition to super-fast broadband speeds provided by DOCSIS 3.0, they’re also considering how they can move from providing analog and digital channels via radio frequency the way they do today, and instead transition to an on-demand IPTV model that could offer them more flexibility with their programming options. For consumers, this could mean more channels and even personalized content delivered to their PCs and television, on demand. Read More about Cable Operators Mull IPTV As They Roll Out Faster Broadband

Cisco’s Grand Video Plan

Cisco, having determined that its growth in the enterprise has pretty much stalled, has decided that video — from teleconferencing to cable — is the answer to its growth problem. To that end, it’s positioning video traffic as the new data — ready to take over the web. And Cisco is betting that cable operators and carriers panicked by the rise of video content are going to start building their own optimized video networks that the company calls a medianet.

Bad Times Ahead for Broadband?

Updated: The sales of Cable modem termination systems (CMTS) declined 32 percent in the third quarter of 2008 to $246 million, according to research firm Infonetics Research. In comparison, $360 million worth of CMTS’ were sold in the second quarter of 2008. One way to interpret this is as yet another data set pointing to a severe slowdown in demand for broadband across the board. We had earlier pointed out that the economic problems were impacting U.S. communications companies, especially those with exposure to hot housing markets. No wonder UBS analyst Nikos Theodosopoulos is projecting global service provider spending will go down by as much as 10 percent in 2009.

Any slowdown could be bad news for gear makers like Arris (s ARRS), which provides broadband gear to companies like Comcast (s CMCSA). At a recent UBS telecom conference Robert Stanzione, Chairman and CEO of Arris, said his “key growth opportunities going into 2009 will be largely centered around DOCSIS 3.0 deployments,” along with sales in the international markets. The company felt that the cable capex could be flat or down net year, but Stanzione said Arris will do well anyway, because it thinks DOCSIS 3.0 will be key priority for cable companies and they will spend on it.

Not so fast. Infonetics analyst Jeff Heynen thinks that with consumers holding onto their purses tightly, the cable companies might slow the rollout of DOCSIS 3.0 wideband services, as “it remains to be seen whether consumers will want to upgrade their broadband connections when budgets are already strained.”