OSGi technology demos debut at CES 2000

Press Release – 01/06/00


Cisco, Electrolux and Sony Among New Members Joining Industry Consortium Developing Open Standard for the Networked Home and Small Business

Las Vegas – (January 6, 2000) – At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2000 this week, leading technology companies from the Open Services Gateway Initiative (https://www.osgi.org)are demonstrating the next generation of smart consumer and small business appliances connected to commercial Internet services. These products and services demonstrate the capabilities of the Open Services Gateway specification, scheduled for release in March 2000, which provides a common foundation for Internet Service Providers, network operators and equipment manufacturers to deliver a wide range of e-services to gateway servers running in the home, small business or remote/branch office.

Several OSGi member companies, such as Cisco Systems, Coactive Networks, Compaq, Echelon, GTE, IBM, Oracle, Sun Microsystems, Whirlpool and others are showing OSGi-related technology demonstrations at CES 2000. In conjunction with the show, OSGi has also posted a specification overview on the OSGi Web site (https://www.osgi.org). Industry representatives are invited to submit feedback on the specification to [email protected]

“CES 2000 is the ideal forum for showcasing OSGi as the technology enabler for the networked home and small business,” said John Barr, president of OSGi, and director, Future Architectures for Personal Area Networks, Motorola. “OSGi is building the industry’s first open interface for connecting devices and appliances with Internet services, and these technology demonstrations from Cisco, GTE, Sun and others serve as a preview of what’s to come later this year.”

OSGi Membership Reaches 40 Companies

The Open Services Gateway Initiative is an open industry effort announced in March 1999. OSGi has since formalized its by-laws and articles of incorporation, organizing itself as a non-profit corporation in the United States. In the fourth quarter of 1999, several technology industry leaders became members of OSGi, including Cisco Systems (http://www.cisco.com), Electrolux (http://www.electrolux.com), Enikia (http://www.enikia.com), Invensys Controls (http://www.invensyscontrols.com), Sonera Corporation (http://www.sonera.com), Sony Corporation (http://www.sony.com), Sprint (http://www.sprint.com) and Yello Strom (http://www.yellostrom.de). With these additions, the OSGi membership now comprises 40 companies. A complete listing of OSGi member companies is available on the OSGi Web site.

“Cisco believes that broadband access to Internet content and services will drive mass market consumer demand,” said Don Listwin, Cisco Executive Vice President. “We are committed to working with others to create standards to facilitate rapid consumer acceptance of home networking.”

“The residential gateway is an integral part of the home networking infrastructure because it connects the Internet to the Information Appliance Network within the home,” said Bob Dillon, president and COO of Enikia, a powerline home networking company headquartered in Piscataway, New Jersey. “The open standards of OSGi are the key to advancing home networking beyond the early-adopter phase.”

OSGi Specification Development Progresses

The OSGi specification will create an open standard for a services gateway that functions as the platform for many communications-based services. The services gateway can enable, consolidate, and manage voice, data, Internet and multimedia communications to and from the home, office and other locations.

The services gateway can also function as an application server for a range of high-value services, such as energy measurement and control, safety and security services, health care monitoring services, device control and maintenance, electronic commerce services and more. Through enabling the connectivity and management of entirely new categories of smart devices, the services gateway will likely be integrated into existing product categories such as set-top boxes, cable modems, routers, residential gateways, alarm systems, energy management systems, consumer electronics, and PCs.

Initially based on Java technology, the OSGi specification will give service providers, device makers and appliance manufacturers vendor-neutral local network to Wide Area Network (WAN) connectivity interfaces. The major technical effort in the first release of the OSGi specification is on the application programming interfaces (APIs) implemented on the gateway and available to service developers. Follow-on specifications will cover other parts of the end-to-end architecture.

To ensure a large target market for third-party service developers as well as a large selection of compatible services for gateway operators, OSGi will specify API standards for the gateway platform execution environment. Gateways must support these API standards in order to be compliant with the OSGi specifications. For a Java-based gateway, the APIs will be based on the Java 2 package and class definitions. The exact details on required classes and packages will be released along with the initial OSGi specification. A Java-based services gateway will feature the following required components:

  • Java environment — defines required packages and classes;
  • Service framework — defines APIs for creating and running services;
  • Device access manager — defines APIs for accessing devices;
  • Log service — defines a required service for logging information.

In addition to the required APIs present on all OSGi-complaint gateways, an optional service, HTTP Service, which defines a service API for an HTTP-based Web server is defined in the first specification release. Follow-on API work will define additional optional services.

The Open Services Gateway specification will be designed to complement and enhance virtually all residential networking standards and initiatives, such as Bluetooth, CAL, CEBus, emNET, HAVi, HomePNA, HomePnP, HomeRF, Jini technology, LonWorks, VESA and Convergence. In the same way, the specification will leverage the value of existing wireline and wireless networks while providing flexibility toward WCDMA, xDSL, cable and other high speed access technologies.

About OSGi

The OSGi is a non-profit corporation formed to provide a forum for the creation of open specifications for the delivery of multiple services over wide-area networks to local networks and devices, and to accelerate the demand for products and services based on these specifications worldwide through the sponsorship of market and user education programs. The San Ramon, California, USA-based consortium comprises 40 member organizations from around the globe. Membership is open to any interested party, including Internet Service Providers, Network Operators, Original Equipment Manufacturers, Independent Software Vendors, end users, academic institutions, government agencies, and non-profit organizations. The consortium’s Web site address is https://www.osgi.org.

All company, brand and product names may be trademarks that are the sole property of their respective owners.

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For further information contact:

David Nieland 
Group Manager 
BSMG Worldwide 
Tel: +1 972 830 2663 
[email protected]
Wendy Dunn 
Account Executive 
BSMG Worldwide 
Tel: +1 972 830 4731