IoT Interoperability with the AllJoyn Platform

20th June 2014

AllJoyn is an open-source project that aims to let compatible smart “things” around us in Internet-of-Things networks recognise each other and share resources and information across brands, networks and operating systems in an interoperable way.

Initially developed by the Qualcomm Innovation Centre, it is now a collaborative open-source project of the AllSeen Alliance – a non-profit consortium providing open-source Internet-of-Things solutions aimed at enabling widespread adoption of products, systems and services for what they call the “Internet of Everything”.

Their goal is to provide portable open-source software and frameworks for all major platforms and operating systems and creating elegant and accessible solutions for the smart home, its appliances and its gadgets.

As an open, universal, secure and programmable software and services framework, AllJoyn enables hardware manufacturers and software developers to create interoperable products that can discover, connect and communicate with other products enabled with AllJoyn support. 

These frameworks enable discovery and communication with devices nearby, with the Notification Service Framework making it easy for products or devices to broadcast and receive basic communications such as text, images, video or audio from other AllJoyn-enabled devices in the area. 

AllJoyn events allow for effective management of machine-to-machine interactions, with events and corresponding actions on one device that are discoverable and can be linked together to respond and execute on another AllJoyn-enabled device.

This platform aims to give manufacturers and developers the tools they need to invent new ways for smart things to work together, recognising that homes, cars and the things around us are getting smarter, and smart devices are becoming more numerous, every day. 

The AllJoyn Core Framework includes a set of service frameworks that are designed to address the desire for users to interact with their nearby things, in a way that is very simple and easy to use. AllJoyn’s universal software framework and core set of system services enable interoperability among connected products and software applications across different manufacturers and vendors to create dynamic proximal networks – focused only on the Internet-of-Things devices that are in your proximity, in particular, rather than all those Internet-connected devices and things that are mostly not directly relevant to you.

Thus AllJoyn aims to enable manufacturers to offer interoperable products and services that will engage and delight users in new, exciting and useful ways. AllJoyn is designed to be a powerful engine for enabling peer-to-peer experiences across connected devices, appliances and more. 

This can be enabled over a range of consumer products being limited only by your imagination – from the mobile devices that consumers always have with them, to the appliances and media equipment in the home, to the electronics in cars and the office equipment in the workplace. 

AllJoyn 1With AllJoyn you can significantly reduce the time, effort and cost of adding peer-to-peer features to your application. Whether you are developing for a smartphone, tablet, television, PC or embedded consumer electronics, AllJoyn is designed to provide the connectivity to enable groundbreaking new experiences. 

The tools are provided to enable the Internet-of-Things developer to add proximal peer-to-peer connectivity to your applications, from gaming, entertainment and social media to automation and enterprise applications, and empowers multiple people on different devices to share, interact and collaborate in real time, enhancing the user experience by asking others to join in the experience – from multiplayer games to business productivity tools, social networking, and “smart” home and building automation applications.

The ability of devices enabled by AllJoyn to send and receive notifications to other devices mean that devices in building automation or smart home applications can be controlled by data sources other than PCs or mobile devices. 

For example, devices can be controlled by and communicate with AllJoyn-enabled wearable computing devices such as Qualcomm’s Toq smartwatch. AllJoyn dynamically discovers and learns what nearby devices have specific interfaces and capabilities, for example allowing an AllJoyn service to detect all nearby AllJoyn-enabled devices with a built-in clock or timer and synchronising their time, all together at the same time. 

Because AllJoyn is proximal and does not need to go out over the Internet to a cloud service it is very fast and responsive, with no lag or latency, and without outside Internet connectivity being essential.

Smart AllJoyn gateways can detect and manage every AllJoyn-enabled device and app on a network, as well as controlling how much bandwidth each app and device gets, ensuring that everyone and every device gets the best connected experience.

With the AllJoyn ON application, it allows for easy discovery, connection and control of any AllJoyn devices nearby, and the AllJoyn Control Panel service framework allows devices with simple or limited user interfaces to expose their properties and controls via a remote, virtual, control panel. 

Those properties and controls can be dynamically rendered on a display such as a smartphone or tablet, for a richer user experience on devices that would not usually provide a rich user interface. The Control Panel service running on a device allows it to expose its capabilities to a control panel application running on a smartphone or tablet, which can use this data to render a graphical user interface for that device in a way that is completely independent of the manufacturer or device type. 

This virtual control panel can even expose controls with no direct physical analogs, allowing simple devices with limited physical UI to offer much deeper user interaction and convenience.

The AllJoyn framework allows for proximity peer-to-peer interaction over various transport layers. It is written in C++ at its core, and provides multiple different language bindings and complete reference implementations across various operating systems and chipsets, making it easy for developers to get started. 

Furthermore this provides an object-oriented approach to making peer-to-peer networking between connected devices easier, allowing developers to avoid the need to deal with lower-level network protocols and hardware.

As the market for Internet-of-Things increases, and the various growth of platform options such as AllJoyn appear, selecting the right platform for your application can be a nightmare. However with our team here at the LX group, it’s simple to get prototypes of your devices based on the AllJoyn platform up and running – or right through to the final product. We can partner with you – finding synergy with your ideas and our experience to create final products that exceed your expectations.

To get started, join us for an obligation-free and confidential discussion about your ideas and how we can help bring them to life – click here to contact us, or telephone 1800 810 124.

LX is an award-winning electronics design company based in Sydney, Australia. LX services include full turnkey design, electronics, hardware, software and firmware design. LX specialises in embedded systems and wireless technologies design.

Published by LX Pty Ltd for itself and the LX Group of companies, including LX Design House, LX Solutions and LX Consulting, LX Innovations.

Muhammad AwaisIoT Interoperability with the AllJoyn Platform

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