Amazon, Apple, Google and Zigbee Alliance partner

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Thursday, December 19, 2019

SEATTLE and CUPERTINO, MOUNTAIN VIEW and DAVIS, Calif.—Amazon, Apple, Google and Zigbee Alliance announced a new working group that plans to develop and promote the adoption of a new, royalty-free connectivity standard to increase compatibility among smart home products. Zigbee Alliance board member companies are also onboard to join the working group and contribute to the project.

Called the Connected Home over IP project, the project’s goal 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. Building upon Internet Protocol (IP), the aim is 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. 

The industry working group will take an open-source approach for the development and implementation of a new, unified connectivity protocol, using contributions from market-tested smart home technologies from Amazon, Apple, Google, Zigbee Alliance and others. Leveraging these technologies is expected to accelerate the development of the protocol, and deliver benefits to manufacturers and consumers faster. 

Another project aim is to make it easier for device manufacturers to build devices that are compatible with smart home and voice services, such as Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Google’s Assistant and others. The planned protocol will complement existing technologies, and working group members encourage device manufacturers to continue innovating using today’s available technologies. 

A specific Project Connected Home over IP styled logo is planned to be on gadget boxes, letting customers know that it’s built and supported by the project. The group plans to focus on physical safety smart home devices first, before expanding into other types of devices and solutions.

Device manufacturers, silicon providers and other developers from across the smart home industry are welcome to participate in and contribute to the standard.