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September 22, 2009
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IPSO Alliance

IPSO Alliance announces certification and compliance initiative for IP-based "Smart Objects"

The Internet Protocol for Smart Objects (IPSO) Alliance announced a new compliance and certification program to accelerate the use of Internet protocol (IP) in smart objects. A smart object is any device that combines processing power, communications capabilities and a power source to provide real-time information to a computer system. Smart objects are already in use in a wide range of emerging application areas including industrial and process automation, smart grid and energy management, building automation, urban infrastructure, healthcare and home automation.

The IPSO Alliance is an organization formed last year of technology providers and end-users seeking to establish Internet protocol as the standard of choice for the interconnection of physical objects. Some of the members include Bosch, Cisco, Ericsson, Google, SAP, Sun Microsystems and Texas Instruments.

The new compliance and certification program builds on IPSO’s hosting of the world’s first interoperability demonstration in March that successfully showed IP-based global interoperability with IP-based sensors, networking infrastructure, servers and applications. IPSO conducted a second, broader and more encompassing, interoperability test successfully in May as well.

In addition, the IPSO Alliance wants to enable the transition onto IP-enabled devices of existing or emerging application layer frameworks and plans to coordinate with appropriate groups and standards-setting bodies to accelerate this transition. “We have already shown that by using open IP standards (IPv6 and 6lowpan) we can connect small embedded devices-Smart Objects-from different vendors around the world. With our new program we are raising the bar of testing and certification to bring assured interoperability to the entire industry.” says Geoff Mulligan, chairman of IPSO. “The IPSO Alliance program covers all types of physical communications links, wired or wireless, including 802.15.4, 802.11, PLC (such as HomePlug). We are not limited to any single technology.”

The IPSO compliance and certification program is an industry-wide and comprehensive effort that includes:

  • Collaboration with the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) to foster the development of basic standards for IP-based smart objects; adherence to which will ensure interoperability across vendor products and diverse communication media.
  • Delivery of the testing and compliance programs to enable vendors to validate their products’ compliance to IP standards.
  • Development of programs to encourage the rapid development of adaptation layers for IP over new communication links to ensure these systems are included in the inter-network of IP-enabled smart objects.
  • Facilitating and accelerating the migration of existing or emerging systems onto IP-enabled devices and working with all willing peer alliances or industry associations towards that goal.
For more information, visit IPSO’s Web site.

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