Panasonic opens royalty-free portfolio to boost IoT development

The tech giant plans to provide royalty-free access to patents to prompt further development of the Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem.

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Panasonic has pledged to provide companies with royalty-free access to software and patents related to the Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem.

Announced on Monday at the Embedded Linux Conference in San Jose, Calif., Panasonic said software, patents and "experience" from its product ecosystem, if provided for free, will speed up the development of IoT software and services.

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As part of the firm's offerings, tested device-to-device cloud software technology will be made available for other companies to expand upon. This technology is currently used in home monitoring systems, solar energy and retail applications. The open source code will be given to OpenDOF Project, a nonprofit unit set up by Panasonic earlier this month to oversee the firm's contributions to the open-source community.

The code will also be given to the Gateway Working Group of the AllSeen Alliance, a nonprofit organization dedicated to driving forward IoT in an open, universal development framework.

See also: Internet of things: Sillier and scarier and coming your way

Panasonic's North American Chief Technology Officer Todd Rytting commented:

"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 hope our IoT initiative will inspire other global companies to contribute intellectual property and ideas to making networks work together through this alliance."

Research firm Gartner predicts that by 2020, there will be quarter of a billion connected vehicles on the road, and 25 billion connected devices in use worldwide.

Read on: In the enterprise

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