The ‘smart home’ concept is a developing one and a slightly confusing one. With a whole bunch of names, standards and systems built by different tech companies, there is no making sure if one of your devices will work with the other. For example – will the smart home device work with Google Assistant or Alexa? Where does Siri fit into all this, if at all.
In a significant move, the big guns in the industry are moving in to solve this problem. Apple, Google, Amazon have teamed up with some other big names to create the “Project Connected Home Over IP” group. Managaed by Zigbee Alliance, the goal is to make a new, open-source smart home connectivity standard based on Internet Protocol.
Once created, it should become easier for user to set up smart home products and reduce costs and development time for the companies involved.
This new standard will be working alongside existing protocols like WiFi and Bluetooth. While there are no set plans in place yet, the group has said that for the devices to work they will have to support Bluetooth Lowe Energy, WiFi or Thread to work in the new system they are going to develop. The standard will be based around IP, the group said, adding that not all devices will need to connect to the Internet. And, the new standard will allow all these devices to send messages to each other with end-to-end security.
Besides Apple, Google, Amazon and Zigbee, the other big names in the fray are Ikea, Samsung (Smart Things), Signify (Philips Lighting) etc. The group will start with a focus on safety devices like smoke alarms, door locks etc and the initial draft of the new standard will be released in late 2020.