Amazon, Apple, Google and the Zigbee Alliance have announced a new partnership to build a simple smart home solution. While these companies compete against each other with smart home products, they are now coming together to build a solution that will be simple for everyone. The market for smart home devices is only expected to become bigger and these companies want to define a single standard that can work with all the platforms. This will eliminate the headache for both consumers and manufacturers who have to dabble with the standards supported by these platforms. Also Read - Alexa Smart Home devices get up to 50% discount during Amazon Prime Day
Here is how your smart home devices will evolve
As part of this partnership, these companies will define a new standard called “Project Connected Home over IP”. The new standard is meant to make it easier for connecting smart home devices. Today, if a consumer has to buy a smart home device, they will need to check whether it works with Amazon Echo, Google Home or Apple HomeKit. The array of standards including Zigbee makes it difficult for independent companies building smart devices as well. With the new partnership, you will be able to buy a product that will work across all of these platforms. Also Read - Amazon Alexa app revamped with easier smart home controls
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“The project is built around a shared belief that smart home devices should be secure, reliable, and seamless to use,” the companies said in a press 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.” Also Read - India's smart home devices market jumps 107% to 1.4 million units in Q2 2018: IDC
Apart from Amazon, Apple and Google, the Zigbee alliance companies such as Samsung SmartThings, Schneider Electric, Signify, IKEA, NXP Semiconductors and Resideo will also contribute. The companies also announced that they will first focus on introducing physical safety smart home devices. This will include smoke alarms, CO sensors, smart doors and locks, security systems, electrical plugs, window shades and HVAC controls. The new standard will eventually be expanded to other types of devices as well as commercial solutions.
According to IDC, the worldwide smart home devices market will grow by 23.5 percent year over year in 2019. The device shipments is expected to grow to 1.39 billion devices in 2023. The group announced that they will release a draft specification and preliminary open source materials late next year. However, the companies have not yet revealed when the first products based on “Project Connected Home over IP” will arrive in the market. A smart home product that works with Amazon Echo, Google Home, Apple HomeKit and other Zigbee Alliance devices should drive adoption.