Collaboration, Creation and Implementation of OCF Specification for Smart Home
The OCF is the first organisation of its kind to successfully define a clear set of standards making smart home automation much more achievable for consumers
February 19th 2016 was a red letter day in the home automation industry, as it was the point at which the world’s major electronics manufacturers decided to collaborate to solve a common problem, rather than compete in the ‘land grab’ that existed in this new frontier of wireless connectivity.
Up until this point, there was a high degree of disparity in system languages that meant that the numerous Internet of things (IoT) devices that were appearing on the market would only work with an exactly compatible systems. This meant that anyone wanting to fully automate their home would face considerable obstacles or be required to purchase every device in their home from the same manufacturer, which would severely limit the kind of consumer choice desired in the sector.
Home and Business
Despite many of the organisations involved in the formation of the Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF) being in competition with each other, the feeling was that universal compatibility was the way forwards and the only viable path to creating ‘Smart Homes’, featuring a full of a range of intercommunicating devices. And so began the collaboration of what is now more than 300 companies and organisations, all with the common goal of advancing smart home technology for the good of consumers and manufacturers alike.
Amongst the founders of the OCF were electronic giants like Microsoft, Intel, Cisco and Samsung, to give you an idea of the level of engagement that is involved in the work the body does to set smart device manufacturing specifications.
A Unified Path
Until the OCF had been formed, there had be no one common narrative in the industry to guide IoT standards. That’s not to say that there were no attempts made to create common standards, but along the way, divisions had formed in previous efforts and these conflicts led to a fragmentation of direction and a failure to reach the required goal.
The OCF is the first organisation of its kind to successfully define a clear set of standards that has helped the concept of true home automation to be realised on a widespread, commercial level and it is this breakthrough that has put the technology within reach of the average consumer.
The deciding factor that made this particular body able to achieve a unified direction is that it included all parties involved in the production of IoT hardware, IoT software and providers of IoT platforms and service providers. By including all elements, including the big business players mentioned earlier could factor in all aspects of the industry and that is perhaps why it was successful enough to still be around today.
What Does This Mean For the Consumer?
Not only has the OCF made home automation much more achievable for consumers, but it has also helped to progress available technologies and to drive down costs of purchasing this kind of hardware. The importance of the work done by the OCF shouldn’t be underestimated, as without it, we would likely still be a long way from making home automation widely available.
If you would like to know more about IoT, Smart Homes and home automation, take a browse through the rest of our website, where you’ll find news, advice and a whole lot more. Alternatively, if you would like to look into automating your home, you can book a consultation with one of our friendly experts, by filling in our contact form
We look forward to helping realise the dream of a fully functioning Smart Home.