Observations from the All Seen Alliance and Internet of Things in general

We recently announced our membership in the AllSeen Alliance back on Nov. 5. We joined this group because we believe in their mandate to drive the adoption of open platforms and services in the rapidly growing Internet of Things ecosystem.

Over the past couple days I’ve attended, and even had a keynote session at the AllSeen Summit in Santa Clara, CA, and I wanted to share some observations that I have taken from the event.

First of all, while in it’s infancy, the Internet of Things market is starting to grow in leaps and bounds. There were over 170 unique companies represented at the event, ranging from small, focused IoT vendors to the largest players in the electronics space. It was interesting to see how natural the collaboration was between the large and the small, in the spirit of the event. I saw (and experienced) the show’s motto at work: Connect. Contribute. Collaborate.

LasseOn day two of the event I had the honor of commencing the proceedings. As this event is focused on open source and sharing, I provided a bit of history around ForgeRock and Sun Microsystems, in particular the spirit and ethos at that led Sun to being the second largest contributor to open source innovation (after Berkeley). Since then, ForgeRock has carried part of Sun’s torch and taken the stage as the world’s largest/fastest growing open Identity Management company.

Following my presentation was an extremely interesting panel discussion about Makers and Crowdsourcing, featuring Jay Rodgers, CEO of Local Motors, John Ouseph, Technology Manager at FirstBuild, and Alex Donn, Developer Evangelist at AT&T. Two points in particular jumped out at me:

  • As manufacturing technology advances, we are able to produce more focused, customer-tailored products. Are we seeing the end of the “one model for all” approach and shifting towards more bespoke model of giving the customer what they want? The group believed so, and if it becomes true, it will be enabled by open source, open standards, and a willingness to work together.
  • The second point related to open hardware. Opening up platforms, APIs and other interfaces means every product that is produced is naturally extensible. Jay Rodgers from Local Motors (an amazing 3D printed car producer) was a firm believer in this and it got my mind buzzing about how the combination of identity management and their open hardware car could result in some pretty interesting results.

My final thought on this topic is that I believe this fast growing IoT industry is one of the most important in the tech space currently. Nobody knows which of these early IoT start-ups might become the next Facebook or Apple, but we will know by 2017, I think. And that is part of what makes this industry so exciting!

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