Allseen Alliance Summit – first meeting ever between 170+ companies to decide – shape – and design the true internet of things future.
We all converged at the fabulous Hyatt Santa Clara convention center with a beautiful few days of meals and top notch meeting rooms (though the joke was that the remote for the projection slides would sometimes not respond!)
@LininoWoman @lininoOrg @AllSeenAlliance #AllSeenSummit @AllJoyn @weavedinc @Qualcomm @QualcommAtheros @symantec @Technicolor @Microsoft @at4wireless @LGUS @JoeSpeeds @gregsbrain @linuxfoundation @Silicon_Image @ATT @Alex_Donn @robchandhok @Susan_P
The Linux Foundation has worked extensively to collect all companies and organizations who want to participate, gain information, and connect on internet of things issues. The AllJoyn software is a central unifying framework in which we can all design our mesh of connected devices.
Monday night was our first social gathering where those of us who could come into town the night before, could already hob-knob. I was so excited to attend the event with Mike Storella, our rockstar of sales with dog hunter LLC. He works with our distributors and the companies actually implementing our hardware into their designs. I work with the maker community to use our hardware in their own inventions, at any scale. We were thrilled to meet some amazing engineers from Qualcomm, and I was humbled when the creator of the AllJoyn software, Greg Burns, came up to me and said, “Linino Woman! So great to meet you in person, I follow you on Twitter.” Wow. Another pivotal gentleman who made this all happen is Joe Speed, or is it’s Speeds, either way, he gets it done efficiently.
Tuesday’s jam-packed schedule began with a very special introduction to Ryo Koyama of Weaved. I was excited to hear him speak because we’re hoping to connect with Weaved to make Linino ONE and Arduino Yun one of their supported devices. Ryo showed their new video and Bob’s fish feeder and it really set a great tone for the conference in showing the full journey of an inventor who solves a problem for himself using hardware and Weaved software and then scale it to serve the needs of the public by making it an actual product. Ryo got us going with talk of TCCIP, Networking, and P2P connections…all more I look forward to learning about in depth!
Next up for a keynote was Danny Lousberg – Director of Product Management for Technicolor. Yes, Technicolor is going IoT! He began by inviting the Allseen Alliance to unlock the true potential of IoT. Reminding the summit that the phrase IoT was first coined by Kevin Ashton in 1999, his project involved RFID tags and he wanted to connect devices to the internet in that way. Danny continues, the devices need to be in a mesh, connected to each other, distributing intelligence throughout your devices. This already introduced a new concept to me since the last IoT conference I attended. The devices are connected to the internet or the cloud…but now we’re really visualizing past that – all the devices connect to each other to offer a cohesion of cross-device intelligence!
Danny emphasized that IoT will be about the user experience. The public doesn’t want to spend time on more devices unless the rewards are great. The only meaningful thing that technology can really do for us now, is to give us more free time, added ease and comfort, and services that may not have existed previously. “Technology should work in the background on behalf of the user. We need the devices that can make decisions on behalf of the user.”
Eugene Yoo of LG Electronics joined us next for his Keynote. “Our primary goal is to get consumer product out the door that has the Allseen Alliance name on it.” This means we need AllJoyn certified devices. Because AllJoyn is open source, the Allseen Alliance has and will foster an active developer community. The Membership is strong already – a collaboration of many companies with similar goals. Eugene encouraged us all to be involved through the resources available; the blog, newsletter, showcase, social media, and the summit itself. On the website, there is a certification process of devices to work with AllJoyn, Linino ONE and Arduino Yun are already certified! LG smart TVs are also already embedded with Alljoyn.
Brian Witten of Symantec was up to give a brief introduction to the Keynote about security. He was very well spoken, direct, and confident. The security issue comes from so many devices wanting to be in a mesh…but in most circumstances, we can’t have the entire planet in the same mesh. In a factory, we want the robots and machines to work on their own mesh, but not pick up random employee’s cell phones or smart cars parked in the parking lot (for example). The function of a factory is high stakes and can’t be interrupted just like the importance of issues that more directly affect the user. In a factory, it is someone’s job to monitor and administrate the networks and their security, but for the consumer, we need the security to work seamlessly, in the background, right out the box. A home owner doesn’t want to spend too much extra time tinkering with their security network, you want to connect the devices in your own home and have it set – without any chance of a neighbor or other hacker eavesdropping on your network. A good example is if our doors were IoT, we could not only tell the door to lock, but we want to verify every time that it is OUR door, not accidently a neighbor’s. We also don’t want smart cars on the road to conflict with other proximal networks, so there is a lot that goes into designing a mesh where added devices are secure.
Gerrit Ruelens, Senior Software Developer from Symantec stepped up to really give us the lay of the land of IoT security. We all talk about smart homes and what it comes down to is the home would be monitoring our personal private data. It’s not just “nosey neighbors” or a device accidently joining a network it shouldn’t be on. The future of connected devices will allow companies to harness data, to be used for research and development, but also to directly help you. The washing machine that keeps track of how many loads you do a day, or gives you a recommendation to start your load in a few hours in order to save energy. That 2 way communication needs to be secure.
There are many facets to security that embody a system of checks and balances. Authentication, Authorization, and Encryption. Each device is approved and maintained in a mesh network and protected from other proximal devices. It reminds me of when I control a Servo Motor. I want to tell the motor to go to 90 degrees…but then I would love a way to “check in” on the position of the motor, and then make sure that no other influence will change the position. Just like if we tell our front door to lock, we want to verify again that it IS in the locked position, and then we want to “lock” it (haha) to make sure no one will change that position, or if they do, we are notified.
“Security has to be in Day 1 of design, not something that is patched on after.” One of the added challenges is our smart phone itself, our #1 IoT device. The phone wants to control and join pods of networks in different settings. At work, you want to connect to your home to monitor it! At home, you might want to be checking in on your vacation home or a maker project on your grandma’s house! You want the phone to be specific and tap into the right network at the right time. This may involve shifting from app to app, but all the while maintaining authentication, authorization, and encryption. Even within one network, there are MANY instances where there are different levels of permission or access. At work, certain employees have access to certain functions while others don’t. In the smart home, parents versus children need to have different permissions or access to the devices. For example, you don’t want your children to have any access to the oven without a parent around. If you limit your children to 2 hours of “screen time” a day, then you want that to be tracked across all devices (so they don’t get 2 hours of TV in their room and 2 hours of game play on their tablet) Devices should know WHO the user is (authentication) and their status of use & custom preferences (authorization) and secure for the whole time they are using the device (encryption).
The Keynotes keep coming with Greg Burns, VP of Engineering at Qualcomm. He is one of the engineers who has been working on AllJoyn since about 5 years ago. He believes that the community that comes from open source, the crowd sourcing approach gives innovation a jumpstart, new idea injections! Alljoyn is the only IoT code that is open source and available to download today. Certification is key so that there is a level of standard and understanding. AllJoyn certainly can implement “if this, then that” interactions that can be assessed and an action sent – all without bothering the user. The initial data and code is set to how you like it and then should run seamlessly. As Greg says, a device should “operate on it’s own without additional user intervention” Then he lost me a little saying that we’re moving from UDP from TCCIP….so that will mean something to a few of you out there! And finally he leaves us with the reminder that we need to test all our devices for the extremes. At what point would it “break”? Meaning, what is too much data, too frequent of “if this, then that” actions, is there a limit and what is it? Before this can truly be for the consumer, we need to know the boundaries.
We had a brief introduction to Telis Kaleas from Qualcomm – C&C Working Group Chair, and Jose Rodrigo of AT4 Wireless. They spoke about the certification process and how even that is open source. AllSeen Alliance Members define the policies and processes by which the Certification is granted and maintained. Testing to certify has to be neutral so there’s a clear approval or guidance for more adjustments.
The keynotes wrapped with a brief message from Jim Chase – Senior Director of Corporate Marketing & Evangelist and Susan Polizzotto – Senior Manager Product Marketing – Qualcomm. They wanted to reach out to guests to the summit who aren’t members yet and also invite one of the existing members to host AllSeen Alliance at CES in January!