HGI Publishes New Open Source Tool for Smart Device Modelling

Common syntax enables abstraction layer approach

29 January 2015. HGI, the leading global organisation for the Connected Home, today announced it has published a draft Smart Device Template (SDT) schema to establish a common syntax for Smart Home device models and spur innovation and integration in Smart Home applications.


The draft SDT schema, which has been developed and issued under Apache 2 license, comprises a common syntax to describe Smart Home devices using XML (Extensible Markup Language). In technical terms, the draft SDT schema is an XSD (XML Schema Description).

Following discussion with liaison partners and adoption of the SDT by the HGI working group, the next step for HGI is to propose a set of XML modules which follow the syntax established by the SDT. The modules are building blocks which can be used to easily create a description of any type of Smart Home device.

The SDT is the cornerstone of an abstraction layer approach in the Smart Home, comprising both schema and a set of modules. An abstraction layer isolates applications, both in the cloud and on the Home Network, from the multiplicity of local network protocols and device drivers, enabling applications to communicate easily with smart devices, regardless of technology type or the communication protocol used by the device.

The end goal, according to Duncan Bees, Chief Technology and Business Officer, is that the SDT is available to the industry for use in applications such as Smart Home platforms operated by telecommunications service providers.

Bees said: "This document is a really significant step for the industry because it provides a framework to create a consistent representation of Smart Home devices. For telecom service providers, this is a great step to ease the deployment of innovative applications on the Home Gateway or in the cloud. It also assists manufacturers, as their products can communicate with a wide variety of applications."

HGI developed the draft SDT using an open-source contribution process and will continue to do this as the SDT is being finalised. Industry alliances or standards organisation are now invited to comment against this public draft. To provide a forum to consider these comments, HGI will coordinate an inter-alliance public meeting on February 24-25, in Turin, Italy.

HGI's SDT features contributions from some of the world's largest telecoms service providers, Home Gateway, chip and software developers. The most recent additions were added following discussions at the group's tenth anniversary symposium in Paris, where more than 100 delegates gathered.

The draft SDT, and license terms of use of the draft SDT, are available to review at github.com/Homegateway/RWD050-public. Parties interested in making comments on the draft should email contact@homegateway.org to discuss how to proceed.

For more information about HGI follow @HGIbulletin on Twitter or visit www.homegatewayinitiative.org.

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