Frag­men­ta­tion still hur­dle for IoT: in­dus­try group

The China Post - - TAIWAN BUSINESS - BY ENRU LIN

Mar­ket frag­men­ta­tion is still the main chal­lenge to growth of the In­ter­net of Things (IoT), ac­cord­ing to the Open In­ter­con­nect Con­sor­tium (OIC), an In­tel-backed in­dus­try group.

Head­quar­tered in Ore­gon, an OIC rep­re­sen­ta­tive yes­ter­day at­tended a panel on smart home ap­pli­ca­tions at an an­nual IT trade show in Taipei.

Sec­re­tary Bernard Shung ( ), of the Tai­wanese fa­b­less semi­con­duc­tor firm Me­di­aTek, said that the IoT is con­sid­ered the most im­por­tant growth driver for the semi­con­duc­tor sec­tor in the com­ing years.

The U.S.-based re­search agency IDC (In­ter­na­tional Data Cor­po­ra­tion) pre­dicts that IoT-in­stalled base will ex­pand by 15 to 20 per­cent to reach 26 to 30 bil­lion de­vices by 2020.

A promis­ing fu­ture beck­ons but is not guar­an­teed, as the ven­dors face the on­go­ing prob­lem of ma­jor mar­ket frag­men­ta­tion — IoT’s main hur­dle, Shung said.

“Mar­ket frag­men­ta­tion is still a big hin­drance. If it’s not ad­dressed,

OIC the mar­ket will not grow,” he said.

Ac­cord­ing to the OIC, a mul­ti­tude of ven­dors work­ing with IoT have adopted dif­fer­ent pro­to­col, ra­dio stan­dards and ser­vice providers, lim­it­ing the abil­ity of the In­ter­net­con­nected “things” to in­ter­act with other things.

As a re­sult, many in­ter­na­tional ven­dors — in­clud­ing ven­dors at the 2015 COM­PU­TEX Taipei — are de­vel­op­ing their own cloud stor­age and apps, Shung said.

“(It’s) a repet­i­tive in­vest­ment in some­thing that’s slightly dif­fer­ent but not dif­fer­en­ti­ated.”

Other loom­ing chal­lenges for IoT are its devel­op­ment com­plex­ity and se­cu­rity of its sup­port­ing cloud ser­vices, ac­cord­ing to the OIC.

The au­then­ti­ca­tion, ac­cess con­trol, user data pri­vacy and se­cured ex­e­cu­tion of cloud-based stor­age are im­por­tant be­cause the stakes are so high, Shung said.

A se­cu­rity breach in a smart­phone re­sults in a per­sonal loss of iden­tity and as­sets, but com­pro­mised IoT sys­tems may lead to dis­abled hos­pi­tals, flooded fields and other dis­as­ters.

“In the IoT world, the dam­age is big­ger,” he said.

Shung was speak­ing at a panel themed on smart homes at 2015 COM­PU­TEX Taipei (

), Asia’s largest ICT trade show. Es­tab­lished last year, OIC is among a hand­ful of in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions that are try­ing to spell out global in­dus­try stan­dards for the IoT, or try­ing to stan­dard­ize the pro­to­cols set by other groups.

The In­tel-backed group vies with the Ap­ple- led HomKit, Google­con­trolled Tread Group and AllSeen Al­liance, which is dom­i­nated by Qual­comm.

Shung said OIC in­tends for its stan­dards to begin in IoT de­vices for the smart home and of­fice, and ex­pand over time to smart hos­pi­tals, fac­to­ries, high­ways and other ap­pli­ca­tions.

The 2015 COM­PU­TEX Taipei runs un­til June 6 at the Tai­wan World Trade Cen­ter Halls 1 and 3, Nan­gang Ex­hi­bi­tion Hall and the Taipei In­ter­na­tional Con­ven­tion Cen­ter.

CNA

An in­dus­try mem­ber demon­strates an In­ter­net of Things (IoT) ap­pli­ca­tion for smart homes at the 2015 COM­PU­TEX Taipei, yes­ter­day. In­dus­try rep­re­sen­ta­tives said yes­ter­day that mar­ket frag­men­ta­tion still poses a ma­jor chal­lenge to IoT growth.

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