Marcello Lioy is the AllSeen Alliance 2016 Technical Steering Committee (TSC) chair and Core Working Group chair, where he serves as the development lead for the AllJoyn® Core software team. Marcello works for Qualcomm Connected Experiences, Inc. where he is a director of engineering. We sat down with Marcello to hear a bit more about his background, and get his view in his capacity as the TSC Chair on the strategic goals for advancing the technical scope of the AllJoyn project.
Open to members and non-members alike, the TSC oversees the design and development activities within AllSeen Alliance, as outlined in the TSC Charter. To get involved with the TSC today, self-subscribe to the TSC Mailing List by clicking here. Check out the AllSeen Wiki to find the schedule for the next upcoming TSC meeting, past meeting slide decks, call recordings, and meeting minutes. For a list of TSC members and their biographies, please go to the TSC page at allseenalliance.org, and to contact the TSC, send an email to the TSC Mailing List.
Let’s look back; when did you first get involved with the project?
I’ve been involved with AllJoyn, in its various stages, since 2010. After driving the establishment of the initial AllJoyn open-source project, I took on a broader role where I was responsible for the delivery of the AllJoyn releases, working in tandem with developers to determine release content. In the months leading up to the formation of The Linux Foundation managed AllSeen Alliance and contribution of the AllJoyn code to AllSeen, I took over as the Core development team lead. As such I have overseen six significant releases, including 15.09 where Security 2.0 was introduced, and many major performance, stability, and scalability enhancements.
Complete this sentence: For AllJoyn, this is the year of…
Continued adoption and refinement! The board has a goal to improve the AllJoyn experience for developers so that when members volunteer their time and energy to code contributions the process will be seamless. We want to bolster some of AllJoyn’s architectural technical aspects, including working out a few bugs in system interaction and simplifying the APIs by consolidating around a single client library. Other possibilities include better tooling for the developers, for example, Microsoft has done a great job adding AllJoyn support into Visual Studio, the developer support infrastructure, or looking at the API set and making it more in line with the conceptual model. Let’s simplify the experience for developers and that will ripple back up to the APIs, which will also make the code easier to maintain as optimization activations will be more focused.
Speaking of developer experience, where should developers go to collaborate and learn how to implement AllJoyn code?
AllSeen Alliance is hosting a full-day AllJoyn Lab co-located at LinuxCon Japan 2016, “IoT 101: Getting Connected for Developers.” Taking place July 14 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo, the $50 event (free for AllSeen members) will offer developers the opportunity to learn how to program a microcontroller (the “Thing” in IoT) using a take-home IoT prototyping kit. Using a variety of physical sensors, attendees will connect to Microsoft Azure IoT services to collect data and issue control commands to the devices.
If you can’t make it to this event, definitely check out the AllJoyn User Group nearest you. There are now more than 500 developers participating in AllJoyn Meetups all over the world. It’s a great way to troubleshoot technical challenges, celebrate the power of open-source collaboration, discuss best practices and connect with peers in a fun and relaxed setting.
After OpenIoT Summit in San Diego, Calif., you hosted a TSC face-to-face meeting to collectively strategize the roadmap to the 16.10 release. What’s next for AllJoyn?
We have a number of developers focused on the following key goals for the 16.10 release, which the TSC and AllSeen Alliance Board have agreed upon as targets for AllJoyn:
1. Improving the aforementioned developer experience
2. Build AllJoyn support for IPv6 and, time permitting, Thread support.
3. Develop a new project Common Device Models, driven by John Cameron of LIFX and Aaron Vernon of Higgns, to define the interfaces and build simulators for seven well-known devices, so anyone with interest can utilize the open source information to build their own device. The proposed devices for this build include the following: lights, locks, switch interfaces, power plugs, speakers, smoke detectors, as well as door and window motion water sensors. The plan is to provide a device simulator for each of those, following the usual process of defining the interface, and conducting the implementation of plumbing followed by the device simulator. For an example use case, someone following the project could learn how to build a lock that discovers, connects and communicates with multiple, common devices. So rather than walking into a dark house, the lock could inform the living room light bulbs to turn on and the sound system to play your favorite music station allowing you to enter in style.
4. The last one is what we call the “common controller,” and is being realized under the leadership of our members from LIFX, Higgns and HAE Group. Essentially they’re adapting the concepts built into the AllJoyn Lighting Service Framework (LSF) to be applicable to a broader set of “things.” It occurred to them that the LSF enjoys the multitude of benefits from having a lighting controller and that the Alliance, and IoT market at large would benefit from having a common controller that supports IoT groups and scenes. From a market and sales perspective, current smart homes face the challenge of how to create one hub for 50 light bulbs and multiple SKUs, for example. The idea is to build an AllJoyn controller that allows any AllJoyn Certified device to be controlled by one, common controller interface. Building in a rules engine, an end-user could simply enable a scene, such as “date night” to dim the lights, play your favorite playlist and turn up the thermostat.
All of these are targets for the 16.10 release. So far it’s been an incredibly exciting year for AllJoyn. As an open-source project, you do not need to be a member to participate. For example, anyone can sit in on our TSC meetings. We encourage any and all who are interested to check out the Wiki page and join our weekly calls.