GE Digital, a division of General Electric, and Bosch Software Innovations, a division of Bosch Group, are joining forces to make their Internet of Things (IoT) platforms interoperable and reduce fragmentation.
The alliance between the two firms is notable as both are up-and-coming software divisions of stodgy corporations that are trying to morph into more innovative firms.
Open Source IoT
Bosch and GE say they are trying to make their IoT platforms open source to encourage more interoperability and more application development. To make that happen, both companies have enlisted the help of the Eclipse Foundation, a global open source software community.
The Eclipse Foundation has several focus projects including Eclipse Hono, Eclipse Vorto, Eclipse Leshan, GE-enhanced User Account and Authentication (UAA), and Eclipse Access Control Service (ACS). These projects are all centered around device connectivity.
Bosch’s IoT platform-as-a-service (PaaS), which is called IoT Suite, is a middleware platform that helps manage IoT device connectivity. GE’s Predix Platform provides real-time asset optimization, analytics, and diagnostics as well as maintenance for industrial IoT systems.
According to Rainer Kallenbach, CEO of Bosch Software Innovations, IoT Suite complements GE’s Predix PaaS. “We do not have analytics capabilities, so it’s a nice complement.”
Kallenbach adds that there are 100 to 200 different IoT platforms currently being offered by different companies. By working with GE, Bosch hopes to reduce the fragmentation and encourage interoperability in IoT core technology. “No one can do IoT alone. You need many players and they need to be integrated,” he says.
This isn’t the first time GE has said it is committed to being open source. The company is also a founding member of the Open Connectivity Foundation, along with Arris, CableLabs, Cisco, Electrolux, Intel, Microsoft, Qualcomm, and Samsung. The OCF’s goal is to unify IoT standards so that companies and developers can create IoT platforms and devices that work seamlessly together. Ultimately, the OCF wants to create IoT specs and protocols and open source projects for IoT.