Amazon, Apple, Google and Zigbee join forces for an open smart home standard

The biggest names in the connected home category are reaching across the aisle to create an open-source standard. Marquee names Amazon, Apple, Google and the Zigbee Alliance are leading the charge here.

There are a number of key partners on the board, as well, including Ikea, Legrand, NXP Semiconductors, Resideo, Samsung SmartThings, Schneider Electric, Signify (nee Philips Lighting), Silicon Labs, Somfy and Wulian.

The goals certainly seem solid from the outset. The Connected Home over IP project seeks to create a connectivity standard designed to increase compatibility across companies and devices. The landscape is pretty scattered at the moment, with each player digging pretty heavily into their own standard and forcing many smaller third-party players to pick sides.

There will no doubt continue to be a degree of that, but the more devices that can speak to one another, that would certainly appear to be a net positive for the consumer. The aim is to make it easier for hardware makers to build devices that work with Alexa, Assistant, Siri and the like.

“The project is built around a shared belief that smart home devices should be secure, reliable, and seamless to use,” according to the joint release. “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.”

Security and privacy ought to be pretty high up on the list, as well. These topics are of utmost and increasing concern as we surrender more of our square footage to connected products.