Hi Ayla,

Everyone talks about "interoperability" as a major component in successfully rolling out the Internet of Things. As a manufacturer of a connected product, how do I wrap my brain around creating interoperability when everything is constantly changing?

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We feel your pain. Not only does interoperability refer to seamless coordination between different kinds of connected products, like making sure your smart mattress talks to your smart coffeemaker, it can also mean:

  • interoperability between a device and a cloud-based service
  • interoperability between different cloud-based services
  • AND interoperability across all the processes surrounding the creation, storage and use of the data that is generated from a connect product

 Just like making sure all the components of a stereo system work together, shouldn't there be an IoT standard, you ask. That has been one approach - but by at least 15 different groups and consortiums to date, each with its own standard. An IoT platform technology like that used by Ayla Networks provides an alternative to committing to any specific standard, and can support multiple, competing standards and protocols at the cloud level.

By supporting standards and protocols in the cloud, an IoT platform can make them available through application programming interfaces (APIs) to any connected products that use the platform technology. In this way, manufacturers can keep their offerings proprietary, while the mechanisms for communications and control are subject to open standards. Similarly, IoT platform technology can also help mediate interoperability between connected products and third-party services, and between different IoT clouds.

Another important way that an IoT platform can promote interoperability is through the architecture of its data schema, which is crucial for interoperability. With a flexible data schema, manufacturers can add new properties to their connected products that enable communications with other devices or services.

What do you want to know about the Internet of Things? In our Ask Ayla ongoing blog series, Ayla Networks will answer questions about IoT technology, products, use cases, and trends. Send your IoT questions to prodmarketing@aylanetworks.com, with the subject line: Ask Ayla. Check back often to see the answer to your question, as well as what others have asked.