In a rather unexpected move, Amazon, Apple and Google have decided to join forces to create a new, more compatible open standard for smart home devices. This standard is expected to improve the compatibility between various smart home devices from the manufacturers. It should be noted that Zigbee Alliance is also joining the initiative, which is called Project Connected Home over IP. Companies like IKEA, Legrand, NXP Semiconductors, Resideo, Samsung SmartThings, Schneider Electric, Signify (formerly Philips Lighting), Silicon Labs, Somfy, and Wulian are part of the Zigbee Alliance.
With this new standard, creating a smart home device that communicates well with other devices would be an easier task. Developers would also find it easy to create algorithms that bring the best of home appliances from different manufacturers. While compatibility is the main objective for this new initiative, the royalty-free initiative would also improve the security of smart home platforms drastically. The latter is in light of the increasing attacks towards smart home appliances such as security cameras and thermostats. The official press release from these companies reveal that the project would be taking an open-source approach.
“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,” says the official press release, as published on the Newsroom section of Apple. It also adds that the digital assistants like Google Assistant, Apple’s Siri and Amazon Alexa would become a bit more compatible in the course of time.
For consumers, however, the initiative means improved convenience, especially when it comes to choosing their favorite smart home devices.