September 9, 2015 — Anyone who is in the know about what is going on in wireless knows that the next hot platform is streaming media. To wit, Amazon, Cisco, Google, Intel, Microsoft, Mozilla and Netflix just announced that they have joined together to form the Alliance for Open Media (AOM). If that leaves any doubt, I wouldn’t know where to find it. And it is about time. With 75 percent of future mobile traffic expected to be streaming media, the industry has to get a common, open platform that developers can use with assurance that everybody is on board. That is a lesson learned many times over.
According to the AOM website, the companies are coming together to develop “collective technology and expertise to meet growing Internet demand for top-quality video, audio, imagery and streaming across devices of all kinds and for users worldwide.” Sound good to me!
Specifically, the alliance wants to commercialize a new, interoperable and open, media platform. It will be optimized for the web and scalable to any device at any bandwidth. The design will be of a low computational footprint so it can, consistently and reliably, deliver quality video, which is capable of handling commercial and noncommercial content.
The initial project will pursue an open, royalty-free video codec specification and open-source implementation based on the contributions of members. It will also develop binding specifications for media format, content encryption and adaptive streaming. All of this is a tall order, but with these players, I have a high level of confidence that it can happen.