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March 23, 2015

Panasonic to allow free patent access to speed IoT

Multinational wants to open up on software, patents and experience in spur of IoT. Panasonic to allow free access to patents to speed IoT

By Joao Lima

Panasonic has announced that it will provide royalty-free access to software, patents and experience from its product ecosystem to make development of IoT related software and services faster.

Speaking at the Embedded Linux Conference in San Jose, California, the company also announced plans to increase its intellectual property contributions to the cross-industry, non-profit, open-source consortium AllSeen Alliance.

With B2B solutions already in place in home monitoring systems, solar energy and in retail applications, Panasonic plans to make all these technology available for free.

With companies, universities and individuals in mind, the aim of the Japanese multinational is to spur development of IoT solutions and connected devices.

It is not the first time that Panasonic has opened its "doors" to developers. The same thing happened when it released key patents to the public domain to help further development of the radio industry.

The enterprise will use the OpenDOF Project, created earlier this March, to share its device-to-cloud software open source code.

In order to enable the development of scalable and reliable network services from a variety of components and systems, including gateways and cloud services, Panasonic will focus on expanding a secure, flexible and interoperable open source software framework.

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The framework will support different IoT networking technologies, new deployments and legacy systems.

The project will be divided into two different categories: one will look at collecting data from devices and a different one for remote control devices.

The Gateway Working Group of the AllSeen Alliance will also benefit from software code and experience provided by Panasonic.

Todd Rytting, Chief Technology Officer Panasonic US, said: "Open sourcing a proprietary technology invites the open source community to evaluate, work on and ultimately improve the software. In a market full of incompatible, proprietary offerings, this initiative brings a powerful tool to developers and equipment makers to help them create what the market wants in the IoT: interoperable and flexible services and applications leveraging data from connected devices and most importantly value to the customer.

"We are excited to contribute some of our technology and expertise to the effort already underway at the AllSeen Alliance. We hope our IoT initiative will inspire other global companies to contribute intellectual property and ideas to making networks work together through this alliance."

Philip DesAutels, PhD, Senior Director, IoT, AllSeen Alliance, said: "As a well-respected member of the Alliance with deep experience in the IoT market, Panasonic is making a strong statement with this announcement.

"The power of IoT comes from the scale of the network of interconnecting things. The more things that seamlessly connect using open protocols, the more individuals, businesses and communities can do. With this announcement Panasonic is extending the reach and power of AllJoyn to deliver an Internet of Everything."

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