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Amazon, Apple, Google, Zigbee Alliance to work together on new connectivity protocol


December 19, 2019
By SP&T Staff
SP&T Staff

Amazon, Apple, Google, and the Zigbee Alliance, announced this week a “Connected Home over IP” working group that plans to develop and promote the adoption of a new, royalty-free connectivity standard to increase compatibility among smart home products. The group states that security will be “a fundamental design tenet.”

Zigbee Alliance board member companies such as IKEA, Legrand, NXP Semiconductors, Resideo, Samsung SmartThings, Schneider Electric, Signify (formerly Philips Lighting), Silicon Labs, Somfy, and Wulian are also on board to join the working group and contribute to the project. Other device manufacturers, silicon providers and other developers are also invited to participate.

According to a joint statement, 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 group states it will take an open source approach to developing a new, unified connectivity protocol, and will leverage existing smart home technology from Amazon, Apple, Google, the Zigbee Alliance and others. The expectation is that the inclusion of existing technology will accelerate the development of the standard.

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One of the major aims of the project is to make it easier for manufacturers to build devices that are compatible with voice services like Amazon Alexa, Apple’s Siri and Google Assistant, among others.