Panasonic and Verizon Hit the Iot Open Road

By Randy Field

Two companies with the global scale to make a big impact on the proliferation of IoT devices have entered the open software arena.

In March 2015, Panasonic launched their OpenDOF (Open Distributed Object Framework) Project by contributing software and patents to their newly created, royalty-free nonprofit by the same name: The OpenDOF Project. The object is to allow more IoT developers to connect their low-power, small data-packet-devices to disparate networks, whether it is by Internet or other infrastructure.

In October 2015, Panasonic got more serious with the launch of their Cloud Service Toolkit to compliment OpenDOF. The highly scalable cloud is royalty-free to OpenDOF projects and can be licensed for other commercial uses. It supports deployments running enterprise-class cloud software including Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure and IBM SoftLayer.

Working with the AllSeen Alliance, which enables the interoperability of billions of IoT devices, services and apps; Panasonic’s cloud and OpenDOF brings us closer to an end-to-end IoT ecosystem.

One week after Panasonic’s cloud release, Verizon conducted a webcast introduction of ThingSpace, its IoT open developer platform. ThingSpace has been in development for more than 2 years. Coupled with Verizon’s network certification of Sequan’s Calliope CAT-1 LTE chipset, developers have a secure platform that is ready for integration.

From Verizon’s website, “The Verizon Connectivity Management API allows you to add and activate devices, check their status, monitor their usage, and perform other device connectivity management tasks through a REST API.” Verizon’s goal is to drastically reduce the cost of IoT communication chips, reduce wireless data cost and speed delivery of new IoT solutions.”

The IoT “open road” is getting more crowded. Two giants have entered the road from opposite directions: While Panasonic doesn’t have its own network, by bringing together its cloud toolkit, OpenDOF and the AllSeen Alliance, the company has built an open IoT device ecosystem that can be deployed over many networks. Similarly, Verizon doesn’t own a product ecosystem; yet, ThingSpace and the Sequan Cat-1 LTE chipset certification rounds out Verizon’s open IoT wireless ecosystem that can be used on many devices. Each approach has its own benefits—luckily, the IoT road is wide enough for Panasonic, Verizon and more to succeed.