There is hope that there will finally be compatible smart home technology standards after an announcement that Apple, Amazon, Google, Samsung, and Zigbee, among others, will form an alliance to create that standard.
Here’s how it will happen:
There is a Need for Standards
No consumer wants to have to check if something is or isn’t compatible with their smart home system.
The problem can be put in terms of plumbing. Say a home had a plumbing problem and the owner tried to fix it and needed faucets and pipes. Then, they find out that one company produces faucets, and the other company produces pipes, but the companies do not work together at all.
The company with the faucet doesn’t have parts that fit with the pipes that are needed from the other company. And they will never change to make it easier for the consumer.
The solution? Standardization.
The Goal of the Standard
The standard will be established to make it easier to get new smart home devices integrated on to a network, in order to minimize the amount of checking consumers have to do to see what is or isn’t compatible with their smart home control system.
A Group Has Been Assigned to Tackle the Problem
The various smart home technology providers, Amazon, Apple, Google and the Zigbee Alliance, have put together an industry working group called Project Connected Home over IP.
This group will develop and promote the adoption of a new, royalty-free connectivity standard that is expected to increase compatibility among smart home products. The basic design principle is security.
How the Group Will Work
The Connected Home over IP group has two goals. One, to make development simpler for manufacturers and two, to increase compatibility for consumers.
Something everyone in the group can agree on is that smart home devices should be secure, reliable and seamless to use.
Part of the seamlessness of use is building on Internet Protocol, or IP, so that communication is enabled across smart home devices, mobile apps and cloud services as well as defining a specific set of IP-based networking technologies.
The Group Will Use an Open-Source Approach
This open-source approach will aid in the development and implementation of a new protocol that promotes unified connectivity.
The cooperation and use of contributions from market-tested smart home technologies from the various group members will expedite the development of this protocol, so that the benefits will be felt by manufacturers and consumers faster.
The Results of Standardization
The results the project is aiming for is to make it easier for manufacturers to build devices that are compatible with smart home and voice services like Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant, and others.
The new protocol will complement current technologies, while still encouraging innovation.
Companies like Apple, Amazon, Google, Samsung, and Zigbee made it big by looking after their own interests and their own brand. Working together towards standardization of smart home technology standards means that finally the consumer is priority.