Amazon, Apple, Google bat for universal smart home standard

Las Vegas: Jeff Bezos during on-stage talk at Amazon re: Mars conference in Las Vegas on June 6, 2019. (Photos: IANS)

San Francisco, Dec 18 (IANS) Technology giants Amazon, Apple and Google on Wednesday joined forces with Zigbee Alliance to form 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, with security as a fundamental design tenet.

The project aims 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.

Zigbee Alliance board member companies such as IKEA, Legrand, NXP Semiconductors, Resideo, Samsung SmartThings, Schneider Electric, Signify (formerly Philips Lighting), Silicon Labs, Somfy and Wulian are also onboard to join the working group and contribute to the project.

The goal of the “Connected Home over IP” project 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.

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, Apple said in a statement.

The industry working group will take an open-source approach for the development and implementation of a new, unified connectivity protocol.

The project intends to use contributions from market-tested smart home technologies from Amazon, Apple, Google, Zigbee Alliance and others.

The decision to leverage these technologies is expected to accelerate the development of the protocol, and deliver benefits to manufacturers and consumers faster, the statement added.

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