In a rare and unexpected move, Apple, Google and Amazon have announced pooling their resources together to bring compatibility between smart home devices. Even though all of these companies compete in the same market, it has often been a confusing landscape for consumers due to compatibility.
Teaming up will help solve much of these problems and will make it even easier from the consumer end. Long story short, the alliance is here to help smart home gadgets talk to each other easily.
The Zigbee Alliance is also part of the deal and will be the spearhead of the group.
Zigbee Alliance shelters several companies known for developing smart home gadgets like IKEA, Legrand, NXP Semiconductors, Resideo, Samsung SmartThings, Schneider Electric, Signify (formerly Philips Lighting), and Silicon Labs, among others.
All of these companies will work together to lay an underground structure that will be a royalty-free connectivity standard to increase compatibility between smart home products.
“Our goal is to bring together market-tested technologies to develop a new, open smart home connectivity standard based on Internet Protocol (IP),” said Google in a statement.
The team says the new standard protocol will still work alongside existing ones like Bluetooth and WIFI.
Google says they will contribute two of their open-source smart home technologies – Weave and Thread – that have been used in several devices and can work over many network standards like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Low Energy, and even cellular network.
The whole project has been named ‘Connected Home over IP.’ The group upholds the critical components of smart home devices as they are supposed to be – both secure, reliable, and seamless to use.
That means any smart home device will be compatible with your home regardless of your smartphone or your voice assistant (whether its Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Google’s Assistant, and others).
The new partnership will also ensure developers have an easy time in product development and even cut costs, as a result. For consumers, this alliance will give you the freedom you need to choose any smart home product without worrying about compatibility.
At the start, the group will primarily focus on the physical safety of smart home devices. Those include smart home devices like smoke alarms and CO sensors, smart doors and locks, security systems, electrical plugs, window shades and HVAC controls before delving into commercial and other types of devices.
Currently, the companies have not detailed on when we should expect the first commercial products to be available on the market for purchase.