Consortium Seeks Engineering Standards for Internet of Things

The Industrial Internet Consortium — which includes AT&T, Cisco, General Electric, IBM and Intel — said last week that it plans to develop engineering standards for the connection of objects, sensors and computing systems in large industrial assets, such as oil refineries, factories and harbors. The consortium aims to establish standards for how machines will share information and move data. The group also plans to publish case studies, conduct forums and cooperate on security practices.

Richard Soley is the group’s executive director. Soley is also chief exec of the Object Management Group, a tech standards group. The White House and other governmental entities were also involved in the creation of the consortium.

“Creating standards for things like the electricity levels within small machines, or the kinds of radio technology a railroad might use to signal track conditions, can increase the size of the potential market and speed product development,” reports The New York Times.

“There are connections among all sorts of industrial assets, like sensors on turbines or soda machines that tell suppliers when they are running low on cola,” notes the article. “The means by which this ‘Internet of Things’ uses power and sends data around has been somewhat haphazard.”

“I don’t think anything this big has been tried before,” said William Ruh, vice president of GE’s global software center. “This is how we will make machines, people and data work together.”

“As an industry, we’ve come to the conclusion that for the Internet of Things to really take off, we needed more interoperability, better building blocks and better standards,” added Abhi Ingle, SVP of AT&T’s advanced solutions group.