Microsoft Joins Qualcomm-Backed AllSeen Alliance
Microsoft has joined the AllSeen Alliance, an effort backed by Qualcomm to provide a standard for connecting the Internet of Things. The alliance already has 50 companies on board, including LG, Panasonic, and Sharp. The group's goal is to make it easy for devices to interact with one another by devising a single standard through which they can communicate. Qualcomm's rivals, however, are prepared to form their own group, according to unnamed sources cited by Reuters. The competing consortium may launch as soon as next week, and will seek to create its own standard for connecting the Internet of Things. Apple has already announced HomeKit, its own protocol for connecting smartphones and tablets to devices around the home. Further, Google recently released an SDK for its Nest thermostat, which will eventually allow smartphones, tablets, and other apps to interact with Nest. Multiple standards may make it more difficult for consumers to find devices that work with one another. Reuters didn't say which companies are going to support the competitor to AllSeen.
PMA and A4WP Rebrand As the AirFuel Alliance
The Power Matters Alliance and Alliance for Wireless Power today announced plans to fully merge organizations under the AirFuel Alliance brand. The standard-bearers for wireless charging agreed to work together earlier this year, and today's rebranding is the final step in the process of creating a single consortium committed to improving the standards for and experience of wireless charging.
WiFi HaLow Pushes Into 900MHz for Longer Range
The WiFi Alliance today announced WiFi HaLow (802.11ah), which it says is a low-power, long-range solution for a variety of use cases. WiFi HaLow drops into the 900 MHz spectrum band to help extend its range.
Nest Thermostat Can Now Be Controlled by Apple Watch
Nest recently updated its iOS app and added support for the Apple Watch. With the update installed, Nest owners can control their Nest Thermostat from their wrist.
Apple Backs Qi Wireless Charging Standard
Apple has joined the Wireless Power Consortium, according to IHS Technologies and the WPC's own web site. Apple is listed as a backing member of the organization, which is behind the Qi wireless charging standard.
Amazon, Google, Microsoft Working On Open Media Formats
A handful of tech companies this week launched the Alliance for Open Media with the intent of creating an open standard for high definition video that will be compatible with all devices across the web. The companies hope to field next-generation codecs that are interoperate and open, optimized for the web, and scalable to any device at any bandwidth.