Smart homes – HGI and Broadband Forum to collaborate on requirements


HGI and the Broadband Forum have agreed to collaborate on specifying requirements for the smart home.

Two projects are under way – one clarifying performance and co-existence requirements for wireless home area networks (HANs), and the other specifying requirements for interworking between various home devices and home automation systems (abstraction layers). Both are important in machine-to-machine systems for consumer applications.

Cooperation on the documents will avoid duplication of activities, benefit both parties by combining areas of expertise, and will benefit the M2M industry in resolving these key issues. It will also help coordinate recommendations to the standardization organisation oneM2M, which is developing technical specifications for common M2M service layers based on inputs from multiple groups and organisations around the world.

“The smart home has been a focus for HGI over the last two years, matching the interest from broadband service providers who are rolling out new revenue generating services,” commented Duncan Bees, chief business and technology officer of HGI.  “Those (specifications) that HGI will develop with the Broadband Forum will define an abstraction layer that allows applications to connect to in-home devices with commonly agreed software interfaces over a variety of home networks. We also plan to work on APIs for cloud-located service logic.”

The Broadband Forum and HGI have had a longstanding liaison agreement through which the two organizations have worked together on projects including energy efficiency of telecommunications networks, quality of service, and management requirements for home gateways.

“The smart home has become a topic of key consideration within the Broadband Forum and more widely in the industry,” added Robin Mersh, CEO of the Broadband Forum. “The work being carried out in HGI complements the Broadband Forum’s work in the management and control of devices in home networks. It therefore makes good sense to work in common on the abstraction layer components of the smart home as well as the requirements for the wireless HAN.”

Both organizations have a wide set of liaison relations with other fora and will rely on consultation with key partners including OSGi Alliance among others.