Aussie company Higgns formed to take care of IoT

Higgns, which employs the open source AllJoyn framework, is designed to make it easier for IoT devices to communicate with each other

Two Bulls co-founder Noah Harlan

Two Bulls co-founder Noah Harlan

Australian software developer Two Bulls is spinning out a new company, Higgns, to exploit its software of the same name, which uses the AllJoyn open software framework for Internet of Things devices.

Two Bulls is making the move with the expectation that the market for AllJoyn-enabled devices and awareness of AllJoyn among consumers will grow rapidly over the next 12 months.

IoT products based on the AllJoyn framework made a splash at the CES trade show in Las Vegas earlier this year.

The first consumer products incorporating Higgns software are expected hit the market in Q2 of 2016, followed by further products later in the year, Two Bulls co-founder Noah Harlan told Computerworld.

“We are going to market with our first client in Q2, a major global telco brand,” Harlan said.

“It will be a consumer facing solution deployed in multiple markets. We have a couple of clients that are looking at Q4 releases and there are probably 30 or 40 clients that use Higgns internally and are using the beta.”

Higgns is software designed to be incorporated into a wide range of connected devices so that they can easily communicate with each other and be controlled over a local network or via the cloud.

For example, a Higgns-equipped smartphone could be used to control a Wi-Fi-enabled light bulb, or a smart washing machine could be instructed to send a message to the phone when its wash cycle has finished.

“Higgns does a lot of the complex engineering stuff under the hood that IoT products and services need,” Harlan said.

He said the name had come from a 1980s TV show, Magnum PI where a character named Higgins looked after a beautiful estate in Hawaii, because “Higgns takes care of everything for you.”

AllJoyn was developed by Qualcomm and debuted at Mobile World Congress in 2011.

It was later released as open source software managed by the Linux Foundation, and the AllSeen Alliance was created to promote it and manage certification.

Harlan, who has been appointed president of the Alliance for 2016, said that Two Bulls – which had been founded in 2009 as a mobile app developer – had been involved with AllJoyn since its early days.

“About four years ago we started working in connected devices when Qualcomm came to us to build some prototypes of some early IoT technology which subsequently became AllJoyn,” Harlan said.

“When the AllSeen Alliance came into existence Qualcomm asked us to join it because we had some of the most experienced AllJoyn developers.

“We then built Higgns as a platform that developers of products and services could use to power all the stuff they are doing.”

Harlan said he expected 2016 would be a big year for AllJoyn.

“The Alliance has worked very hard on the code of the last couple of year, we have some big code releases coming up and we are seeing a lot of products coming onto the market.”

In October 2015 the AllSeen Alliance launched the AllJoyn Certified program, and Harlan said here were already more than 200 million certified products in market, largely based on Windows 10, which is an AllJoyn certified product.

“Electrolux has a fantastic [AllJoyn-enabled] oven coming out soon. Icontrol Networks has a home security system called Pipe, Hitachi has speakers coming out,” the Two Bulls co-founder said.

“Mosaic has speakers, Lifx has AllJoyn certified light bulbs coming out; we are going to see a huge acceleration of products into the market.”

Harlan said one of the biggest challenges facing the Alliance was to raise awareness of AllJoyn, so that consumers would understand the significance of AllJoyn certification.

In this, he said the Alliance had the backing of electronics retailer and Alliance member Euronics.

“They are the third largest electronics retail chain in the world with ten thousand stores across Europe and the Middle East. They plan to be very focussed on merchandising AllJoyn in their stores and showing consumers how they can build their own solutions and solve problems.”

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