Hardware companies Samsung, Intel and Dell are collaborating to create standards for internet-enabled devices that communicate with each other, under a new industry consortium dubbed the Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC).
Chip makers Atmel and Broadcom, and software firm Wind River make up the rest of the OIC.
The consortium will focus on improving interoperability and defining the connectivity requirements for devices such as smart thermometers, smoke alarms and fridges which are all part of what is now commonly referred to as the Internet of Things (IoT).
The aim of the OIC is for devices to be able to connect and communicate with each other seamlessly, regardless of form factor, operating system or service provider.
OIC members will contribute software and engineering resources to develop a protocol specification, open source implementation and certification programme for IoT. A range of connectivity solutions will be used for the specification and a number of vendors from different industries will participate in the programme to ensure that a growing number of products can be designed to fit the specification.
The OIC will focus its first open source code on smart home and office solutions with automotive, healthcare and industrial opportunities to follow.
"In the Internet of Things era, everything – from PCs, smartphones and tablets to home and industrial appliances and new wearable form factors – should effortlessly connect and communicate with each other, regardless of who makes the device," said Jong-deok Choi, executive vice president and deputy head of the software R&D centre at Samsung Electronics.
"We invite other industry leaders, whatever their background and vertical specialism, to join us in defining and embracing a common communications framework for the Internet of Things," he added.
He said that he saw IoT as a "huge transformative development", which could boost productivity, improve health, make transport more efficient, reduce energy needs and tackle climate change.
Research firm IDC expects there to be approximately 212 billion "things" within IoT by 2020. This is expected to include 30.1 billion installed "connected (autonomous) things".