We’re pretty lucky (depending on your perspective of course) that we live in an age where everything in our house and our bags can actually be connected to the Internet. However, with all the various smart devices, platforms, and OEMs out there, there are still a lot of issues because we don’t have an industry-wide connectivity standard, leaving a lot of users confused and spending too much just to get things to work together. Now the big three – Google, Amazon, and Apple – are forming an alliance together with other OEMs to develop an open smart home connectivity standard.
The three, together with Zigbee Alliance and other companies like Ikea, Samsung SmartThings, and Signify, are forming an independent working group called Connected Home over IP. The main goal is to create a standard based on IP or Internet Protocol through market-tested technologies. They hope to be able to simplify product development for the OEMs by giving them just one standard from which to build their devices.
The three giants’ respective smart home systems – Apple’s HomeKit, Amazon’s Alexa, and Google’s Weave – will actually contribute to this new standard and work with other connectivity protocols like Bluetooth and WiFi without having to replace them. Devices, in turn, will need to have support for things like Bluetooth Low Energy, WiFi, or Thread to be able to work with the standard they will be proposing.
Google says both developers and consumers will benefit from this standard that they will be developing and proposing. We will eventually be able to choose how you want to control your smart devices regardless of which technology you want to use. The devices that will be developed under this protocol will be compatible with all the platforms like Google Assistant, Alexa, Siri, and others that might eventually come up.
Now what this will look like in application, we still have no idea as it’s still early days. What we know as early as now is that this will be a big win for customers and eventually for the device makers and developers as well. This is something the industry will keep a close eye on over the next few months as we wait for the first draft sometime in late 2020.