Amazon, Apple, Google & Zigbee to Develop New Open Source Smart Connected Home Over IP Standard

Project Connected Home over IP

Earlier today, in a surprise move, a group of top tech companies announced “Project Connected Home over IP”. 

Amazon, Apple, Google, and brands from the Zigbee Alliance including IKEA, Samsung SmartThings, Schneider Electric, Signify (formerly Philips Lighting), Somfy and chip makers Silicon Labs are all on board and will take an open-source approach for the development and implementation of a new, unified connectivity protocol…

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.

Project Connected Home over IP

Automated Home’s Take

Is. This. Finally. The. One?

Who knows, there have been so many false starts before with several that looked promising. But there are some huge names here and more importantly powerful rivals coming together to working on the problem. The fact that the home automation industry is admitting it has an issue and these big players are coming together has to be a good sign.

It will be a while before we know how enthusiastic each party is though, as a draft specification and a “preliminary reference open source implementation” won’t be here until late 2020. That first spec will include…

The goal of the first specification release will be Wi-Fi, up to and including 802.11ax (aka Wi-Fi 6), that is 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax; Thread over 802.15.4-2006 at 2.4 GHz; and IP implementations for Bluetooth Low Energy, versions 4.1, 4.2, and 5.0 for the network and physical wireless protocols.

So, has ZigBee just become the chosen one? What does this mean for Z-Wave?  What about other companies outside the group that are developing smart tech? What about backwards compatibility with all our legacy systems?

More questions than answers at this point. So is this project X that I wrote about 12 years ago? I’m a tech optimist at heart so I really do hope so.

Here’s Apple’s full press release plus link to the project below…

Project Connected Home over IP Intends to Simplify Development for Device Manufacturers and Increase Compatibility for Consumers

Seattle and Cupertino, Mountain View and Davis, California — Amazon, Apple, Google, and the Zigbee Alliance today 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, with security as a fundamental design tenet. 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.

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 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. The planned protocol will complement existing technologies, and working group members encourage device manufacturers to continue innovating using technologies available today.Project Connected Home over IP welcomes device manufacturers, silicon providers, and other developers from across the smart home industry to participate in and contribute to the standard.

If you’d like to get involved or receive updates visit connectedhomeip.com.

2 Comments on "Amazon, Apple, Google & Zigbee to Develop New Open Source Smart Connected Home Over IP Standard"

  1. So Google killed Nest public API, announced that they might shut down Google Cloud Platform and now they want to participate to an “open source”? I hope it won’t be the next “pay to see” thing.

  2. Ah ever the optimist michal 🙂 This isn’t JUST Google though. And todays announcement from Z-Wave shows just how significant they see this threat. Let’s see where it all shakes out.

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