We caught up with Bruno Johnson, CEO of Cascoda and Vice Chair of the Marketing and Communications Working Group of Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF) to find out about the foundation, from what it is the foundation does to the challenges the foundation has overcome in the past…
What is the Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF)?
Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF) is the leading Internet of Things (IoT) standards organization, formed by key industry players to address interoperability and security issues facing the IoT industry. OCF has designed, developed and published application-layer IoT protocols that solve today’s IoT issues using the universally supported Internet Protocol (IP) and robust open standards.
The OCF mission is threefold:
- Provide specifications, code and a certification program to enable manufacturers to bring OCF Certified products to the market that can interoperate with current IoT devices and legacy systems.
- Make the end user experience better by seamlessly bridging to other ecosystems within a user’s smart home and ensuring interoperability with OCF compliant devices.
- Enable IoT security for other domains with a “ready to go” OCF Core Framework.
What makes the Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF) different?
There are many forums and organizations driving different approaches to IoT, but no other solution addresses the majority of key IoT requirements, and since the unification of OCF with Fairhair, Alljoyn and UPnP, we see signs of consolidation.
To lower the barrier of adoption, the open source implementation of the OCF specification, IoTivity, brings together the open source community to accelerate the advancement of a single framework and the services required to securely connect devices. OCF provides developers and manufacturers with a framework – the OCF Core Framework – for secure interoperability targeting multiple OSs, platforms, modes of communication, transports and use cases.
The OCF Core Framework is an IoT framework for device discovery, on-boarding and application-layer security, for device-to-device, device-to-cloud and cloud-to-cloud connectivity. It can be used with any application layer, using your own data models. The OCF Core Framework is published as an ISO/IEC standard.
The OCF specification not only offers a complete connectivity solution, but OCF’s world-class security also provides advantages from being measured against all major IoT security baselinesdeveloped by government and industry organizations.
What challenges have the Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF) overcome?
Since its formation in 2016, OCF has grown exponentially, both in its membership – which features over 500 companies from around the world, including regional forums in China, Korea and India – but also in its technological advances. By continuously addressing each issue facing the IoT, including security, connectivity and interoperability, OCF remains the industry leader and adaptable to whatever challenge comes next. This is evident in the recent OCF Specification Release 2.2.0, which includes the OCF Universal Cloud Interface (UCI), the industry’s first solution to unify the IoT ecosystem through cloud-to-cloud connectivity. Furthermore, the constant technical improvements driven by the IoTivity projectshowcase OCF’s ability to successfully adapt to the changing IoT landscape.
What are the plans for growth?
OCF is dedicated to the use of open standards to ensure device security and interoperability. To do this, OCF has formed a comprehensive certification program that improves IoT interoperability, reduces time-to-market and enhances the consumer experience with OCF specific testing and certification, UPnP certification, and AllJoyn testing and certification. OCF hopes to continue to grow the OCF device ecosystem and create a seamless IoT experience for all end users.
Building a secure IoT device requires well-defined codes, specifications based on rigorous testing and thorough certification. To make certain the OCF specification remains in-line with the ever-changing IoT market, OCF will continue to follow the security requirements put forth by the industry and government.
The OCF Core Framework – now established and in use – was designed with best of security in mind, providing a clear starting point through a common security framework. Enabling secure IP communication, the OCF Core Framework can be used to carry data models from different protocols.
OCF is also committed to working with industry partners and associations to create a more cohesive IoT ecosystem. To address the need for a single common data model across the industry, OCF has worked under liaison with Bluetooth SIG, OMA SpecWorks and Zigbee Alliance on One Data Model (oneDM). OneDM has created a new definition format to convey data models, with the end goal of standardizing submitted data models defined by the various organizations so that a single model for a desired feature or purpose can be selected.
Through the formation of groups such as OneDM and IP-BLiS (IP – Building & Lighting Standards), OCF collaborates with other leading groups to align on common communication procedures that allow for better integration.
Does the Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF) have any other businesses?
OCF has many exciting initiatives that continue to address some of the toughest issues emerging in the IoT industry today. Join OCF’s 500+ membership base and learn more at OpenConnectivity.org.