Smart home devices have been around for many years, but have never become very widespread to a large degree. One of the reasons for this is likely the incompatibility between different wireless interconnection standards and technologies, limiting widespread adoption. Things are set to change, as several leading high-tech companies from the US have agreed to develop a royalty-free connectivity standard for smart home devices. The new technology will put an end to the standards war in the smart home space, and will make devices more attractive eventually.

Nowadays, smart home hardware uses various communication protocols, including Wi-Fi, Zigbee, and Z-Wave. The devices are also controlled using different apps and voice services. Usage of incompatible technologies greatly slows down their adoption by end users as well as the development of infrastructure. This week Amazon, Apple, Google, IKEA, Legrand, NXP Semiconductors, Resideo, Samsung SmartThings, Schneider Electric, Signify (formerly Philips Lighting), Silicon Labs, Somfy, and Wulian joined forces to form the Connected Home over IP framework.

The new standard is designed to facilitate communication between smart home devices, apps, cloud services, and to outline a set of IP-based networking protocols for hardware certification. Ultimately, this will simplify development of smart home devices for manufacturers, and improve compatibility for consumers.

The Connected Home over IP project will have multiple layers. On the hardware side of things, the companies will work on a unified open-source interconnection protocol using contributions from market-tested technologies. This protocol is not supposed to eliminate the existing ones, but complement them, which will allow owners of existing devices to add new hardware to their homes without problems.

On the software and services side of matters, the companies will work to ensure that all devices are supported by cloud and voice services, including Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Google’s Assistant, and others. Essentially, this may mean that smart home devices will have to support the same control protocol (which will be complementing existing protocols).

The Connected Home over IP project is in an early stage of development, and it remains to be seen when the first devices supporting the new standard will be emerging in the market. 

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Source: Press Release

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  • HardwareDufus - Wednesday, December 18, 2019 - link

    i could not have stated it any better. truer words have not been spoken.

    *steps down from virtual soapbox, gets up from comfy chair and turns on the light switch himself
  • nandnandnand - Wednesday, December 18, 2019 - link

    "Little benefit" is so true.

    Maybe you get a smart thermostat. There are utilities that may give you one for free or lower your bill.

    The other stuff is a meh. OMG, an IoT light bulb + speaker. Voice assistants are also surprisingly useless. I'll be ready to deal with the privacy/security implications when I can have a brain-in-a-box strong AI and robots that can cook and clean (everything). And f *** of course. Without any requirement to connect to Google, Amazon, Facebook, etc.
  • drexnx - Wednesday, December 18, 2019 - link

    100% same sentiment.
  • PeachNCream - Wednesday, December 18, 2019 - link

    Nothing beats trying to bang your Roomba only to be discouraged by it giving you the cold shoulder as it returns to its charging dock. That would take rejection to a whole new level.
  • nandnandnand - Wednesday, December 18, 2019 - link

    That's my fetish.™
  • RSAUser - Thursday, December 19, 2019 - link

    Song selection, alarms, setting reminders etc. Is all useful to me. I'd probably not want to move back not to having a couple of home's scattered around the house.
  • edzieba - Thursday, December 19, 2019 - link

    "Internet of things" can go get in the sea.
    "Intranet of Things" has a lot of value, but has the barrier of at the very least requiring a consumer-friendly method of both implementing VLANs on home networking hardware, and of a reliable consumer-friendly method of key sharing between devices that may have no external inputs (e.g. lightbulbs).
  • yetanotherhuman - Friday, December 20, 2019 - link

    You know that all systems require some bullshit connection to cloud, right? I'd advise everyone never to buy a system that is reliant on a server somewhere else to actually function locally. However, systems like Philips Hue don't actually require a connection to anything to function. Some devices are well designed. Some are not. Maybe most are not, in which case they shouldn't be touched.
  • Diogene7 - Wednesday, December 18, 2019 - link

    Without an open standard, supported at least by Amazon, Google, Apple (and also maybe Microsoft) for compatibility with the 3 main voice assistants (Alazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple Siri), I always thought that home automation would not fully take off.

    I think it could take at least 5 to 10 years before open standard for home automation to mature that it is fully interoperable and open new opportunities
  • LumenCache - Thursday, December 19, 2019 - link

    Smarthome adoption has been steadily rising. Now finally to a whopping 5-6%! Still...After 30 years. X-10 should be proud. Designing a ubiquitous protocol is a challenge because the application diversity is huge and the devices are tiny. Point of diminishing returns approaches quickly. But there are very definite gains to be achieved in the areas of convenience, energy savings, and security. Maybe not from a behemoth protocol like this but it could be implemented in unified gateways to achieve the goals they seek.

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