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Q&A: Smart Objects Meet IoT Demands for Interoperability (.PDF Download)

Jan. 9, 2018
Q&A: Smart Objects Meet IoT Demands for Interoperability (.PDF Download)

The IPSO Alliance is “focused on enabling IoT devices to communicate, understand, and trust each other with global interoperability based on open standards.” Members take an IP-based approach to Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity.

I recently talked with Christian Légaré, President and Chairman of the IPSO Alliance, about its charter and the current state of affairs when it comes to IoT connectivity.

Christian Légaré is President and Chairman of the IPSO Alliance, and Director of the IoT OS Platform at Silicon Labs.

What is interoperability? Why is it important for IoT?

Interoperability is defined at many different software and networking levels. A good way to understand interoperability is to view it as the North American construction standard. For example, all doors have a standard opening of 32 inches. When you buy a white good in North America, you know you’ll be able to get it through the door.

Sometimes the term “interoperability” can be interchanged with “standards,” but it doesn’t have to be a certifiable standard such as UL or similar; sometimes standards can be de facto. In either case, there are clear and tangible benefits to interoperability and standards. However, especially with software and the open-source community, standards are sometimes perceived as obstacles to innovation. The reality for smart devices, however, is that we need interoperability and some level of common definitions. Interoperability is the use of these common definitions so that products can work together.


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