HGI (Home Gateway Initiative) and Broadband Forum (BBF), have announced that they are to discuss recommendations for a universal template which will facilitate interworking between home devices and smart home applications.
The universal template is a component of a logical abstraction layer that is used to provide smart home services to broadband consumers. The aim of the abstraction layer is to allow smart home applications authored by different companies to easily connect to devices using one of several smart home interface technologies. The applications don’t need to know which interface technology is used, but only the device capabilities that are described in the template.
The adoption of a standardised description format for devices reflects important business goals of both service providers and smart home vendors. Currently it is difficult for applications to easily support devices on more than a single smart home interface. By defining abstraction logic, HGI and BBF aim to make problem solving in this space easier, create opportunities for service and technology partnerships, and increase the interoperability between systems built by their member companies and other adopters.
HGI and BBF teamed up last December to combine both parties’ expertise and resolve key problems in the M2M industry. In addition to the abstraction layer and universal template, the groups are clarifying the performance and co-existence requirements for wireless home area networks (WHAN). This project sets out detailed requirements that support smart home services and will assist service providers to evaluate and select available WHAN solutions. Already, major WHAN technology organisations have been closely consulted.
As both the templates project and the WHAN project continue, HGI and BBF will reach out to the industry stakeholders to ensure that practical results are attained.
“Both of these projects are very important in machine-to-machine systems for consumer applications and discussing the concrete details for a universal template for interworking between devices and applications is a significant step forward for the Smart Home Task Force,” said Duncan Bees, Chief Business and Technology Officer of HGI. “We look forward to hearing the feedback of both HGI and BBF members and updating them on our other work within the smart home ecosystem.”
The Broadband Forum and HGI have had a longstanding liaison agreement through which the two organisations have worked together on projects including energy efficiency of telecommunications networks, quality of service, and management requirements for Home Gateways.
Robin Mersh, CEO of the Broadband Forum, added: “HGI’s work complements the Broadband Forum’s work in the management and control of devices in home networks so it made good sense to work together on this project. Having a universal template will be a big step in realising the smart home of the future”.