13.03.19

OCA Alliance shows expanded feature set of AES70-2018 revision

The OCA Alliance has shown the expanded feature set of the new AES70-2018 revision of the open control and monitoring standard for professional audio and AV media networks.

This upgrade is the result of years of collaboration within the OCA Alliance and the AES and new features include native WebSocket support. This enables web browsers to make direct connections with an AES7-2018 enabled device. Previously, TCP connectivity was required for device control, with browser control only possibly by proxy; forwarding a WebSocket connection to a TCP stack. 

The OCA Alliance says native WebSocket browser connectivity is an advantage in enabling very low latency real-time web based and IoT AES70 control applications. The full-duplex nature of WebSockets allows the web server to initiate communication with client devices, establishing a persistent, bidirectional connection that allows the status of the device to be updated instantaneously without an initiating client request. This makes devising powerful browser and App based GUI’s a much ‘lighter’ proposition for developers.

Also included in the standard revision is native UDP (User Datagram Protocol) support; again as an alternative to TCP, enabling AES70 implementation. The faster, lighter communication protocol facilitates AES70 implementation with a smaller footprint within constrained hardware designs. This is suited to compact devices like wall controllers or existing hardware that doesn’t have much resource headroom.

Alliance member company DeusO has developed a web-based user interface framework and multi-device control solutions, which use AES70. It has introduced a controller implementation and real device simulation, using open source JavaScript library AES70.js and the newly announced C++11 AES70.cpp. 

The company’s approach to embedded C++11 libraries is for optimisation for small devices. “We are generating C++ device side libraries which utilise our own code generation technologies developed specifically for flexible AES70 library implementations. The approach to embedded targets starts with a C++ library template which automatically optimises during compilation,” said Matt Hardy, business development manager at DeusO. “Key benefits are having precise reporting of static RAM requirements and the ability to shrink the resulting library’s physical size.

“The C++ template approach allows integration with an existing code base and is largely agnostic to developer preferences. Our intent is to not dictate how a device needs to be constructed, but to simply provide a flexible way to expose it as an AES70 ready device.” 

DeusO offers an evaluation kit for the C++ device library as a binary that can run on a Linux oriented system such as a Raspberry Pi. This evaluation includes a user interface using the JavaScript AES70.js controller library to connect and control device parameters via a web browser. “Our aim is to provide a useful means of evaluating both AES70 on the device side and the web-based controller potential of AES70.js,” said Hardy. 

The company also offers a complete AES70 controller implementation in C# for Visual Studio and MonoDevelop integrated development environments.