FORTUNE -- Someday in the not-so-distant future, you'll be able to walk into your home and stream content from your phone straight to your TV. Sound like a familiar prediction? That's probably because it's been in the works for at least a decade.
One of the biggest hurdles to the seamlessly connected house has been the interoperability issue -- the fact that TVs, phones, and other devices around the home are powered by different operating systems and can't "talk" to each other in the same language. To fix this problem, mobile chipmaker Qualcomm (QCOM) has been working on an open-source networking platform that aims to connect nearby devices to each other. (It's basically a software layer that can sit on top of existing operating systems.) On Tuesday morning, the San Diego-based company took its efforts one step further, announcing it will spin out the so-called AllJoyn code to an open-source community of member companies, called the AllSeen Alliance.
"From the very beginning we wanted to be very clear in that the value of this is to build an ecosystem," says Rob Chandhok, president of Qualcomm's interactive platforms division.
Much like cloud computing player Rackspace (RAX) did with OpenStack, or Yahoo (YHOO) with its big data software project Hadoop, Qualcomm hopes opening up AllJoyn to the community at large will spawn a booming industry of companies that will both contribute to its code and use it to develop products for the "Internet of things" -- the trend of embedding processing power and connectivity in all sorts of household and industrial appliances. Qualcomm's end goal? The more consumers demand smart, connected devices, the more chips and other components the company sells.
LG Electronics, one of the early member companies of the AllSeen Alliance, has already announced it will sell a smart TV compatible with the open-source protocol starting next year. Other member companies include Sharp, HTC, Panasonic, and Cisco (CSCO), along with a handful of other players.
"The code that Qualcomm has developed is well thought out," says Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, which will play host to the AllSeen Alliance. "We can now apply it to things we haven't thought of to date."
Currently, most of Qualcomm's public efforts have centered around sharing media content with AllJoyn. But in the near future, the company believes the open-source technology can also be used for connecting between security systems, smoke alarms, wearables, medical devices, and -- of course -- smartphones.
Obviously, the success of the AllSeen Alliance won't just depend on how many companies join but on how many manufacturers actually implement the open-source code into their upcoming gadgets. But if there's one company that has a shot of leading efforts to streamline the Internet of things and rally a diverse base of manufacturers, it's Qualcomm. The company already sells its wares to most gadget makers, and proved instrumental in driving the explosive growth of smartphones and high-speed data networks in the past. Now, as growth of smartphone sales begins to wane, Qualcomm is hoping its entry -- and industrywide push -- will pave the way to a whole new, burgeoning market for its tiny chips. In other words, get ready to stream content from your phone to your TV sometime soon.
The expanding reach of the IBM-supported Open Invention Network reflects the pervasiveness of the Linux operating system.
By Roger Parloff, senior editor
FORTUNE -- The Open Invention Network, a community set up by an IBM-led consortium in 2005 to foster a safe patent environment for developers and users of the free, open-source software operating system Linux, now has more than 500 signatories, the group announced today. The group surpassed that symbolic MOREFeb 13, 2013 9:37 AM ET
The Justice Department is investigating whether a "patent pool" is abusing the system to try and cripple a new Google-developed open-source video standard.
Google's (GOOG) YouTube and other video downloading websites like Netflix (NFLX) license the video streaming technology for the video they provide (called H.264) from a consortium of companies that collectively operate a LLC Patent pool called MPEG LA. The group says that they are a patent pool or "convenience store" MORESeth Weintraub - Mar 4, 2011 10:30 AM ET
Fragmentation and the Verizon iPhone will not limit Android growth.
In a report today, Canalys remained rosy on Google's (GOOG) Android. According to its Q3 2010 estimates, the Google-backed platform already claims 25% of the worldwide smart phone market. Those numbers are expected to grow significantly in 2011.
"The growth of Android has been phenomenal, but so too has the number of related devices launched with different hardware and software specifications," said Canalys principal MORESeth Weintraub - Jan 13, 2011 11:02 AM ET
Not a shocker considering Oracle is suing Google over Java patents.
According to Joshua Bloch of Google (GOOG) Open Source Programs Office, Google won't be attending Oracle's (ORCL) Open World and specifically the Java One subconference.
Like many of you, every year we look forward to the workshops, conferences and events related to open source software. In our view, these are among the best ways we can engage the community, by sharing MORESeth Weintraub - Aug 29, 2010 9:10 PM ET
According to recent surveys, more large companies are committing to open-source software. How the platform went from closet to corporate.
By Kit R. Roane, contributor
There was a time when open-source software was the domain of computer geeks and do-it-yourselfers with more time than money. But, as Oracle's legal salvo against Google highlighted last week, those days are long gone.
Oracle (ORCL), through its purchase of Sun Microsystems, has become one of the MOREAug 16, 2010 12:50 PM ET
In this episode of Techmate, Jon and Michael compare Apple's (AAPL) closed-system strategy to Google's (GOOG) more open approach.
>Mason Cohn, Producer - Mar 31, 2010 1:04 PM ET
In a special Presidents' Day episode of Techmate, Jon and Michael discuss Intel (INTC) and Nokia's (NOK) strange alliance to develop mobile software and compete with Apple (AAPL) plus the on-going mess at MySpace (NWS)
>Ben Baer, Senior Producer - Feb 15, 2010 11:41 AM ET
Undoing the dupe: A way out of your Big Software contracts
By Roger Burkhardt, CEO, Ingres
(Last month Burkhardt wrote about how Big Software companies lock customers into restrictive software licensing agreements and continue to raise prices, even during tough economic times. Here Burkhardt offers some tips for effectively renegotiating contracts with your current Big Software suppliers.)
For decades now many of us in corporations have been paying loads of money to work MORENov 5, 2009 9:45 AM ET
By Scott Moritz
NEW YORK - A brief hands-on experience with the Google (GOOG) G1 phone gives the impression that after a slew of touchscreen duds from other telcos, Apple's (AAPL) iPhone finally has a worthy rival.
The highly-anticipated HTC phone for T-Mobile (DT) was unveiled in New York Tuesday, and kiosks with technical experts were set up so media people could run the first Android-powered phone through some tricks. T-Mobile will start MOREsmoritz - Sep 23, 2008 2:14 PM ET
|GM's recalled Cobalt was a failure from the start|
|Pope Francis challenges the free market - The Buzz|
|Why you should pay off your car loan ASAP|
|Americans have fallen in love with real estate once again|
|Stocks: It's report card time on Wall Street|