China suppliers have intensified efforts to develop an IOT standard, which they hope will be the benchmark for a global regulation. Presently, the lack of a unified standard and high chip costs are preventing mass manufacture of IOT products.
Still in its nascent stage, the Internet of Things industry has seen worldwide development gain pace in 2010. But widespread adoption does not seem likely in the near future, simply because a global standard is not yet in place.
IOT refers to the networked interconnection of various devices and appliances. A unified regulation is necessary because devices need to follow one protocol to be able to work together and achieve intelligent control. The interface and chips have to be standardized. Without a global communications protocol, IOT product manufacturers will be unable to work with exchange operators and retailers. Such devices then would be no different from ordinary products such as conventional home appliances.
The US, the EU, Japan and China have all intensified efforts to come up with their own standard, which can then be the basis for a global regulation.
Several of China's largest export manufacturers have been in the IOT field since 2005, some even earlier. Home appliances, smart meters and electronic tags are just a few examples of products that have been built for networked interconnectivity. These companies formed a team to work on an Intelligent Grouping and Resource Sharing standard that could regulate IOT development.
The sooner they are able to come up with a domestic standard, the easier it will be to pitch said regulation for worldwide use. This can then reduce technical barriers for China suppliers, who also would not need to pay IP fees to organizations in developed countries.
The Midea Group and the Haier Group have both been able to develop core control chips and are now working on integrating the power grid with the intercommunication, Internet, radio and TV networks.
Haier has already received approval for seven industry and nine national IOT standards. It has also submitted applications for two international standards, of which one could be China's first in the home network field. The company has also applied for more than 1,000 patents for its IOT home appliances line.
Further, Haier is working closely with telecom operators, and radio and TV networks to include IOT in their product promotions. These operators then select companies that have significant investment in the IOT field such as ZTE and Huawei to work on developing the transmission network.
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