Amazon, Google, Apple teaming up to develop open standard for smart home devices

Amazon, Google, Apple and ZigBee Alliance are teaming up to make compatibility among smart home products easier.

The companies announced a new working group under the name of “Project Connected Home over IP”.

The working group plans to develop and promote the adoption of a new, royalty-free connectivity standard to increase compatibility among smart home products.

The goal of the project is to make it easier for manufacturers to develop products that are compatible with smart home and voice services such as Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Google’s Assistant, and others.

According to the official website of the working group,

“The goal of the Connected Home over IP project is to simplify development for manufacturers and increase compatibility for consumers. The project is built around a shared belief that smart home devices should be secure, reliable, and seamless to use. By building upon Internet Protocol (IP), the project aims to enable communication across smart home devices, mobile apps, and cloud services and to define a specific set of IP-based networking technologies for device certification.”

While IP is the most common network layer used in homes and offices, there is no widely adopted open standard for smart home which built upon IP. The group said it chose IP as it is an “ideal way to deliver end-to-end security and privacy in communication between a device and another device, app, or service.”

“Many Smart Home devices use proprietary protocols today, requiring them to be tethered to a home network using dedicated proxies and translators. By building upon IP, some of these devices may instead be able to connect directly with standardized networking equipment,” the working group explains.

Other companies involved include IKEA, Legrand, NXP Semiconductors, Resideo, Samsung SmartThings, Schneider Electric, Signify (formerly Philips Lighting), Silicon Labs, Somfy, and Wulian.