Big Boost For IoT With Connected Home

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The creation of a connectivity standard between manufactures of Smart Home products will likely facilitate an increase in working Smart Homes and the development of new products.

The members have also pledged to make use of existing protocols and development work including Amazon's Alexa smart home, Apple HomeKit, Google Weave and the Zigbee Alliance's Dotdot.

"The project is built around a shared belief that smart home devices should be secure, reliable, and seamless to use".

The initiative called "Project Connected Home over IP" could promote more smart home products, making it easier for developers of products ranging from smart refrigerators to voice-activated lightbulbs, who are now forced to choose among various standards.

The working group does not intend to standardize smart home user interfaces such as voice assistants, smart displays, or desktop and mobile apps. Certainly, three of the four - Apple, Amazon and Google - are competitors in some capacity, each with their own ecosystem of smart home products, and different ways of communicating with these devices. A standard based on IP will allow devices to connect directly with standardized networking equipment. They will join Zigbee Alliance members such as IKEA, NXP Semiconductors, Samsung SmartThings, Schneider Electric, and Signify in contributing to a project that aims to increase trust and adoption of smart things.

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Erickson added the Thread Group feels validated by the new project since it is aking the same IP-based approached Thread Group.

As more devices are being connected to the internet, there is more of a push to make those devices compatible with smart homes and smart assistants like Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant and others.

The move comes weeks ahead of the opening of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where tech firms will be showcasing thousands of smart home devices ranging from connected lightbulbs to toilets. However, when I've been looking for smart devices for my home, a lot of the devices seem to support multiple standards. This is something the industry will keep a close eye on over the next few months as we wait for the first draft sometime in late 2020.

Effectively, it will mean that consumers will no longer have to worry about whether the smart lightbulb or fridge they're about to buy will be compatible with their smart speaker. What we know as early as now is that this will be a big win for customers and eventually for the device makers and developers as well. And somehow out of all of this, a new wonderful single standard will emerge.

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