By now you know Windows 10 arriving July 29, you know that it's a free upgrade for Windows 7 and 8.1 users, you know it brings back the Start button and introduces other exciting features and you also know the features you might be used to that it won't have. However, there's a hidden feature that no one is talking about, and it could be a game changer.
It's called AllJoyn and, despite the silly name, it could be the missing piece of the puzzle in creating the smart home of the future. Like Google's Project Brillio and Apple's HomeKit, AllJoyn is meant to help smart "Internet of Things" gadgets communicate without fuss or muss.
The major difference is Brillio is brand new and HomeKit requires gadgets with a special Apple chip. AllJoyn has been around for a while and it's completely software-based so it can work on any gadget.
AllJoyn was developed by a group called the AllSeen Alliance, which includes more than 150 companies, including big names in technology like Honeywell, LG and Qualcomm. Some of these company's products already have AllJoyn built in.
Speaking to Time, Philip DesAutels of the Linux Foundation gives some examples of how AllJoyn might eventually work.
[I]f you’re using a Windows 10 device to listen to Spotify on a Musaic wireless speaker, users can configure AllJoyn through Windows’ Device Explorer to show a notification on the home’s LG television that displays the name of the track and other song information. Or, in a slightly more complex configuration, when the user tells the system they are going to bed, AllJoyn can do a quick scan of all its connected devices and make sure everything is as it should be. So, if the garage door is still open, AllJoyn will not only alert users, but the system will also ask if it should close the door (provided that an AllJoyn-connected door opener is on the network, of course).
He continues, “The last thing you want is to have a [connected] lightbulb and a TV set, and the only way you can work with them is to open an app for both of them. What you want is to get the TV and lightbulb working together so when you turn on the TV, the lightbulb dims.”
AllJoyn is open source, so Apple and Google can include with their products at no cost, if they choose. Of course, both of them are working on their own systems, so they might choose not to.
However, Microsoft is bringing its Cortana personal assistant to both Apple and Android gadgets, so they might get AllJoyn that way. It should be interesting to see what happens.
Do you think AllJoyn is going to take off, or is it another dead end for the "smart home" idea like the under-appreciated DLNA? Let me know in the comments.