The 'Internet of Things' gets a consortium

Buzzword Central, also known as the Consumer Electronics Show, is getting a new entry.

The Internet of Things Consortium
Buzzword Central, also known as the Consumer Electronics Show, is getting a new entry.

In the never-ending quest to hook up the physical and digital worlds -- as we wait for the world of networked computing to spread beyond the boundaries of computers and smartphones to just about anything -- a new consortium will hold its first meeting this week at CES to compare notes. The so-called Internet of Things Consortium is a nonprofit organization which says its mission is to spur "cooperation between hardware, software, and service providers, the ostensible goal being to pave the way for more intelligent home appliances, like talking refrigerators or smart ovens.

In its announcement, the group indicated that its initial efforts would focus on "those Internet enabled devices and related software services that directly touch consumers in the form of home automation, entertainment, and productivity. One of the goals of the consortium is to see billions of connected devices that benefit from communication with other devices and services."

Despite recent attention in the news, the concept is not new. The idea's received increasing attention, especially since the advent of former Apple whiz Tony Fadell's startup Nest, which makes smart thermostats.

About the author

Charles Cooper was an executive editor at CNET News. He has covered technology and business for more than 25 years, working at, the Associated Press, Computer & Software News, Computer Shopper, PC Week, and ZDNet.


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