Recently Apple, Google, Amazon and Zigbee announced they were entering into an alliance to develop a new connected home standard over IP. The standard is called Project Connected Home over IP

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 Verge has details on this new standard, and some of the takeaways are:

  • It’s amazing that the biggest players in the game have even agreed to get together at this level to solve the problem.
  • The problem itself is one for developers, not consumers. Many customers don’t see the fragmentation issues because smart home assistants have made the setup smoother.
  • The Zigbee Alliance is managing this working group and can act as a neutral arbiter between these companies.

I think it’s a positive step. Setting up a smart home is full of frustration - and anything that can make that process smoother for consumers and developers alike is a good development.