A New Smart Home Standard Coming Soon

Woman using a digital smart home heating control panelAmazon, Apple, Google and the Zigbee Alliance plan to draft a new Smart Home System protocol later this year which will create a more universal platform for all smart devices to work on.

Currently a manufacturer locks a device into one ecosystem, and once it’s on it won’t connect with any other. This is bad for consumers as they have to seek out and find the right devices for their home ecosystem, if they get it wrong they have the frustration of having to send it back and get a replacement, assuming one is even available. It’s also bad for manufacturers as they have to spend R&D budget on making multiple device ranges which are compatible for each of the Smart Home networks, or commit to only producing products which ‘play’ with one system. Get it wrong and it’s Betamax and VHS all over again, with time and effort being spent on two competing systems, one of superior quality, but at a high cost, and a cheaper, inferior product which, while perfectly adequate for the home user, wasn’t the premium quality it was possible to produce.

Instead, what is going to happen, is Amazon, Google, Apple and the Zigbee Alliance will collaborate on producing a Smart home environment which many more devices will be able to connect to. They won’t glitch or fail to function, or require householders to run more than one platform in the home.

The new protocol will be known as Project Connected Home over IP and promises to not only be more universal, but more secure too as there will be no need for poorly compatible devices to be forced into service by work-arounds or hacks.

Better Compatibility, Better Connectivity, Better Consumer Choice

As all devices will work on all platforms the choice the consumer improves, and product developers can concentrate of making devices which work perfectly on one system, rather than something which works adequately on several.

Because the Zigbee Alliance are involved, and not just the main players, consumers should see genuine improvement when they go out shopping. Many people haven’t even heard of Zigbee, even if they’re familiar with Smart home solutions, and the platform which Project Connected Home Over IP won’t simply be Zigbee in another form. The Zigbee Alliance consist of retailers and manufacturers including IKEA, Samsung, SmartThings, Signify (which used to be Philips Lighting) and several others who all have an interest in creating an environment where any new product can be purchased, turned on and synchronised no matter what other devices are being operated nor which Smart Home system is being used.

“Technology in everyday homes has evolved since the start of the decade. Almost every part of the home can be connected to the internet, allowing local or remote control of thermostats, cameras, locks, lights, switches, sensors, and even doggy doors. While smart home devices are abundant, the lack of an industry-wide connectivity standard leaves people confused and frustrated when trying to understand what devices work with each smart home ecosystem. It also places a heavy burden on manufacturers to make sure all devices are compatible with each other.

We’re joining Amazon, Apple and others to create Connected Home over IP, a new independent working group managed by the Zigbee Alliance (separate from the existing Zigbee 3.0/Pro protocol). Our goal is to bring together market-tested technologies to develop a new, open smart home connectivity standard based on Internet Protocol (IP). Google’s use of IP in home products dates back to the launch of Nest Learning Thermostat in 2011. IP also enables end-to-end, private and secure communication among smart devices, mobile apps, and cloud services. 

We’re contributing two of our market-tested and open-source smart home technologies, Weave and Thread. Both are built on IP and have been integrated into millions of homes around the world. Weave, an application protocol, works over many networks like Thread, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Low Energy, and even cellular. Even when devices are on different networks, Weave allows them all to securely work with each other.

Developers and consumers will benefit from this new universal smart home connectivity standard. For developers, it simplifies product development and reduces costs by giving them one standard for building their products. You will then have the power to choose how you want to control your homes, independent of which smart home technology you choose. Smart home devices will be compatible with various platforms, so you can choose between Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri or other platforms.”  

We’re excited to partner with the industry on the next stage of growth for the thousands of smart home developers in our Works with Google Assistant program. This project brings us closer to the vision of the helpful home that takes care of the people inside it. 

Briant Communications install a wide range of different Smart home devices and synchronise them all for you. This means that your CCTV cameras, Smart alarm systems and access control all work with one another seamlessly. If you’re currently unsure which Smart ecosystem is best for you and you want something you can futureproof against any forthcoming developments, call the experts. We offer a free, no obligation consultation and cost estimate, we install and synchronise all your devices and apps, and offer support, so if anything does go wrong all you need do is call us on 01273 465377

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