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Fairhair Alliance and Open Connectivity Foundation Unify to Advance IoT Building Automation Capabilities

Unification will expand upon the missions of both standards bodies under the Open Connectivity Foundation name

The Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF), a leading Internet of Things (IoT) standards body, today announced the work of the Fairhair Alliance, an alliance aimed to facilitate the IoT for commercial buildings, and licensing of the Fairhair Specification will continue under the OCF name. This integration will advance interoperability and security within the automated building and lighting IoT verticals by combining two proven, reliable IoT frameworks.

Through this agreement, the OCF will maintain and improve the current Fairhair Specification while certifying Fairhair as an international standard through the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). The Fairhair Specification will augment the current OCF specifications, certification programs, and open source implementations, while reducing time-to-market by establishing standardized onboarding and application frameworks for Building Automation Control and Lighting Control verticals.

The Fairhair Alliance has brought together lighting, building automation and IT companies to develop a secure onboarding framework based on IP for lighting and building control in commercial buildings. The mission to create a secure onboarding framework has been achieved and documented within the Fairhair Specification.

“We are very pleased that the important work of our members and partners will now be developed further and brought to fruition by the OCF,” said Ruud van Bokhorst, Secretary-General of the Fairhair Alliance.

The OCF aims to provide an application framework across multiple industries with specifications. The OCF based its specification on standard technologies such as Representational State Transfer (REST) and Secure Constrained Application Protocol (CoAP). In doing so, the OCF has built a reliable and secure communication stack with secure integration over a local or remote network using cloud services. Secure communication is independent of the physical and application layer or vertical and can be used by third parties. In addition to writing the specifications, the OCF sponsors the open source implementation of these specifications via the IoTivity program.

“By coming together as a single group, we are streamlining our efforts to address today’s automated building and lighting needs with an eye to future connectivity, security, and reliability within a multitude of verticals as the IoT continues to evolve,” said John Park, executive director, Open Connectivity Foundation. “We are excited to continue working on our shared goal of creating a secure, interoperable IoT.”

Current OCF specifications are intended for use in unmanaged networks, such as smart homes. Absorbing the Fairhair Specification will enable the implementation of OCF specifications in managed network scenarios, such as automated buildings. Differences between unmanaged and managed networks include:

In-network Complexity: Unmanaged network smart home scenarios use just a single network, while automated building and managed networks have several subnets for different purposes.

Quantity of Devices: In unmanaged (home) scenarios, the number of connected devices on a single network ranges from 10-100. A managed network within a building can include tens of thousands of connected devices.
Access Control: In unmanaged networks, only a single administrator is needed with multiple users of the system. In a managed network, each device can have multiple end users with access to different parts of the system. For example, an employee will not have access to emergency lighting, but a firefighter will. The network setup of a smart building must cater to these differences.

The OCF’s recently-launched Smart Commercial Building Project has developed a new set of requirements for devices, including more stringent device control and management. The project combines Fairhair specifications with existing Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) standards such as Manufacturer Usage Description (MUD), Bootstrapping Remote Secure Key Infrastructures (BRSKI), Secure CoAP, Concise Binary Object Representation (CBOR) and Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) to allow the devices to be safely installed without having to integrate them one by one. These solutions are applicable to other areas that deploy managed networks, such as cities and smart factories.

www.OpenConnectivity.org

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