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Japanese smart home industry brought together by HGI
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Japanese smart home industry brought together by HGI

Posted by Jeremy CowanDecember 17, 2012

Tokyo, Japan — A free-to-attend open forum covering the delivery of smart home services was hosted in Tokyo on December 11 by HGI, a global organisation for publishing requirements for the digital home.

The workshop discussed the use-cases and methods of delivering smart home services. It compared and contrasted the Japanese smart home ecosystem with the requirements of HGI companies in different regions.

Takefumi Yamazaki, a member of HGI’s Board representing Japanese service provider, NTT, said that the HGI’s work to clarify requirements for the software architecture of the home gateway is key to enabling services such as home automation, home healthcare, and energy management, which are extremely important in the Japanese ecosystem.

“The home gateway is increasingly becoming the platform of choice for delivering smart home services to consumers,” said Mr Yamazaki. “To enable the next steps, HGI is defining software modularity, the smart home abstraction layer, smart home interconnect requirements, and home gateway testing strategy. These are cornerstones of a smart home ecosystem.

“With the open forum, we wanted to spur discussion of the Japanese ecosystem requirements and help HGI address the particular Japanese needs,” he added.

One important aspect of the forum was discussion of the particular needs of the Japanese market for smart home interconnects, and both ECHONET and ZigBee addressed the HGI open forum.

Mr. Fukunaga, member of ZigBee SIG Japan, commented: “ZigBee is a key technology in the smart home ecosystem in Japan. We are very pleased to take part in the HGI open forum and to participate in the discussions about service provider needs in this area.”

Following the workshop, HGI members met throughout the week to progress their work in the smart home, particularly focusing on Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) suitable for service deployment. HGI members will also discuss testing and requirements for home networking and gateways.

The HGI, founded in 2004 by nine telecom operators, aims to shape the next generation of internet and voice services. Starting from use-cases and service needs, the HGI sets requirements for Home Gateways, infrastructure devices, and the home network. The HGI now has over 60 members from across the globe, representing the entire spectrum of players in the broadband home area.

ZigBee offers global wireless standards connecting a wide range of devices to work together intelligently and help you control your world. The ZigBee Alliance is an open, non-profit association of approximately 400 members driving development of innovative, reliable and easy-to-use ZigBee standards. The alliance promotes worldwide adoption of ZigBee as the leading wirelessly networked, sensing and control standard for use in consumer, commercial and industrial areas.

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