The Fairhair Specification is now managed by Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF) and the Fairhair Alliance will dissolve as an organization effective November 1, 2019. This integration of the Fairhair Specification will advance interoperability and security within the automated building and lighting IoT verticals by combining two proven, reliable IoT frameworks. Read the OCF press release here.
Through the agreement between OCF and Fairhair Alliance, OCF will maintain and improve the current Fairhair Specification while certifying Fairhair as an international standard through the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). The Fairhair Specification will augment the current OCF specifications, certification programs, and open source implementations, while reducing time-to-market by establishing standardized onboarding and application frameworks for Building Automation Control and Lighting Control verticals.
The Fairhair Alliance brought together lighting, building automation and IT companies to develop a secure onboarding framework based on IP for lighting and building control in commercial buildings. The mission to create a secure onboarding framework has been achieved and documented within the Fairhair Specification.
OCF aims to provide an application framework across multiple industries with specifications. OCF based its specification on standard technologies such as Representational State Transfer (REST) and Secure Constrained Application Protocol (CoAP). In doing so, OCF has built a reliable and secure communication stack with secure integration over a local or remote network using cloud services. Secure communication is independent of the physical and application layer or vertical and can be used by third parties. In addition to writing the specifications, OCF sponsors the open source implementation of these specifications via the IoTivity program.
“By coming together as a single group, we are streamlining our efforts to address today’s automated building and lighting needs with an eye to future connectivity, security, and reliability within a multitude of verticals as the IoT continues to evolve,” said John Park, Executive Director, Open Connectivity Foundation. “We are excited to continue working on our shared goal of creating a secure, interoperable IoT.”
Current OCF specifications are intended for use in unmanaged networks, such as smart homes. Absorbing the Fairhair Specification will enable the implementation of OCF specifications in managed network scenarios, such as automated buildings. Differences between unmanaged and managed networks include:
- In-network Complexity: Unmanaged network smart home scenarios use just a single network, while automated building and managed networks have several subnets for different purposes.
- Quantity of Devices: In unmanaged (home) scenarios, the number of connected devices on a single network ranges from 10-100. A managed network within a building can include tens of thousands of connected devices.
- Access Control: In unmanaged networks, only a single administrator is needed with multiple users of the system. In a managed network, each device can have multiple end users with access to different parts of the system. For example, an employee will not have access to emergency lighting, but a firefighter will. The network setup of a smart building must cater to these differences.
OCF’s recently-launched Smart Commercial Building Project has developed a new set of requirements for devices, including more stringent device control and management. The project combines Fairhair specifications with existing Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) standards such as Manufacturer Usage Description (MUD), Bootstrapping Remote Secure Key Infrastructures (BRSKI), Secure CoAP, Consice Binary Object Representation (CBOR) and Pubic Key Infrastructure (PKI) to allow the devices to be safely installed without having to integrate them one by one. These solutions are applicable to other areas that deploy managed networks, such as cities and smart factories.
What is Fairhair?
Fairhair envisions a future where the building automation and lighting control industries use IoT technologies to build secure, cost-effective and scalable systems. This will enable the use of a single, unified, common IP-based network infrastructure in commercial buildings. Such a shared IP-based network also supports the use of resource-constrained devices, including sensors, lamps, luminaires, thermostats and dimmers.
The Fairhair Work Group within OCF will support strong, well-established ecosystems in addition to OCF such as BACnet, KNX and Zigbee. Fairhair does not aim to define a new application-layer protocol.
Convergence of building systems with IT facilitates IoT for commercial buildings. Each data point and sensor will be able to communicate and interact with each other, and benefit from end-to-end security for all connected devices.
The Fairhair Work Group within OCF will collect the requirements of the building automation, lighting control and IT industries and use these to develop a set of technical specifications for a common IP-based infrastructure, based on open IEEE and IETF standards.
Fairhair specifications define common network services such as security and service discovery.
Read more about IoT Security for Commercial Buildings:
- White Paper: Security Architecture for the Internet of Things (IoT) in Commercial Buildings - March 2018
- Presentation: Fairhair Alliance IoT Security for Commercial Buildings - March 2018
OCF will continue to work on and enhance the Fairhair Specification within a Fairhair Work Group (FHWG). To participate, review the FHWG IPR Policy and please contact [email protected] for the Participant Agreement.