Today, we learned that Amazon, Google, and Apple reached a rare partnership on Wednesday to create a new standard for smart homes. They are going to make it more convenient for consumers.
Currently, Amazon, Google, and Apple are actively competing for smart home products. But the competition itself has caused confusion and trouble for consumers and manufacturers. It’s related to the fact that consumers must buy compatible smart home systems.
Why These Three Join Forces?
According to data released by IDC in September this year, the number of global smart home devices will reach nearly 815 million units this year, an increase of 23.5% year-on-year. And this number will increase to 1.39 billion units in 2023. To achieve this market size, and to keep consumers sane, they need a single standard. The latter will allow all smart products to communicate with each other.
That’s why Apple, Google, and Amazon join forces. Today, you may need to buy a smart lock. But first, you need to figure out whether the lock is compatible with Amazon Echo (using Zigbee standard) or Google Home or Apple HomeKit.
The same headaches also extend to companies that make smart devices. They need to decide from the beginning whether their products support the Zigbee standard, or the Apple or Google standard. After making a decision, they need to be continuously updated throughout the device’s life cycle to ensure security on all platforms. This time, the new standards that Apple, Google, and Amazon are preparing to jointly build are to solve the above problems.
A New Project
This collaboration is called the ‘Project Connected Home over IP’, and it is committed to creating a new standard for smart homes. People can know whether a certain product can be compatible with the smart system when they buy it. In the future, a logo will be printed on the box of smart home products. This will let consumers know whether it is built and supported by the ‘Project Connected Home over IP’.
The three companies said in a press release: ‘The project builds on a common belief that smart home devices should be safe, reliable and seamless to use. The project is based on the Internet Protocol (IP) and aims to enable communication between smart home devices, mobile applications, and cloud services, and define a specific set of IP-based network technologies for device authentication.’
Who Else Wille Join This Alliance of the New Smart Home Standard?
In addition to Apple, Google, and Amazon, ZigBee Alliance companies will also join the cooperation. The list includes Samsung SmartThings, Schneider Electric, Signify (Philips Lighting), IKEA, NXP Semiconductors, and Resideo.
This alliance will initially focus on physical security smart home devices. Among them, we can mention smoke alarms and carbon dioxide sensors, smart door locks, security systems, electrical plugs, curtains, and HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) controls before expanding to other types of equipment and business solutions.
The alliance plans to release a draft specification and preliminary open-source materials later next year. But it’s unclear when the first products will be available.