Open Service Gateway Initiative (OSGi)

OSGi (Open Service Gateway Initiative) is an industry plan for a standard way to connect devices such as home appliances and security systems to the Internet.

OSGi (Open Service Gateway Initiative) is an industry plan for a standard way to connect devices such as home appliances and security systems to the Internet. With such a standard, home users could, for example, install a security system and be able to change from one monitoring service to another without having to install a new system of wires and devices. The "service gateway" would be an application server in a computer that was a gateway between the Internet and a home or small business's network of device. The OSGi plans to specify the application program interface (API) for programmers to use to allow communication and control between service providers and the devices within the home or small business network. OSGi's API will be built on the Java programming language. Java programs can generally be run on any computer operating system platform. OSGi is an open standard programming interface. Changes will evolve through the "Java Community Process."

OSGi is intended to connect new Jini "smart appliances," Bluetooth wireless device groups, as well as TV set-top boxes, cable modems, alarm systems, energy management systems, and other devices to Internet sites that can be used to manage them remotely and interactively. The service gateway (SG) is intended to manage this interconnection with "zero administration."

Among some popular device-to-Internet applications are expected to be energy measurement and load management in the home; home security systems that a home owner can monitor and control away from home; continous monitoring of critical care and home-care patients; and predictive failure reporting for home appliances. The OSGi specification will be designed to complement existing residential standards, such as those of LonWorks (see control network), CAL, CEBus, HAVi, and others.

The initial group of companies that formed the initiative were: Alcatel, Cable & Wireless, Electricite de France, Enron Communications, Ericcson, IBM, Lucent Technologies, Motorola, NCI, Nortel Networks, Oracle, Philips Electronics, Sun Microsystems, Sybase, and Toshiba.

This was first published in April 2005

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