Amazon, Apple and Google have announced they will be teaming up to develop an open-source standard for connected smart home devices.
The partnership, called Project Connected Home over IP, aims to make sure that any supported devices are able to work together with any smartphone or voice assistant, while making the development of new devices simpler and ensuring a high level of security in the process.
“The project is built around a shared belief that smart home devices should be secure, reliable, and seamless to use,” writes Apple in a press release.
Project Connected Home over IP will be an open-source effort to develop and implement a set of new and unified connectivity protocols. There are also plans to leverage the contributions from popular smart home systems from Amazon (Alexa), Apple (HomeKit), and Google (Weave) to accelerate the development of the new protocol and bring benefits to device manufacturers by simplifying development and reducing costs by giving them a single, unified standard to work with.
The potential benefit to consumers comes from the notion that they will know that a device will be easier to set up and will work with whichever smart home ecosystem they are currently using, regardless of who manufactured it.
The standard, which will be based around IP (internet protocol), will also work with existing connectivity technologies like WiFi and Bluetooth, rather than seek to replace them.
The group of tech giants is joined by the Zigbee Alliance and its board members, who include the likes of Ikea, Samsung SmartThings, and Signify, the company responsible for the Philips Hue line of products.
According to CNBC, the group is looking to release a draft of the specifications for the new standard in late 2020. Though it’s not yet clear when the first products to support the new standard will be on the market, the report states the group will look to place early emphasis on physical safety smart home devices like smoke alarms, smart locks, and heating/air conditioning controls before expanding into other types of devices.