This week it was announced that Amazon, Apple, Google, and the Zigbee Alliance are joining forces to develop a new royalty-free connectivity standard for smart home products. The working group is called Project Connected Home over IP and the goal is to develop a “USB-like plug-and-play protocol for the home.” If successful, this standard would get applied to all smart home systems, including the Amazon, Apple, Google, and other “assistants” that you may already have in your home.
The thing about smart home devices is that most of them are exactly that: a device. They’re something you buy and append to your home, as opposed to something that gets built into the core of your home. This, of course, makes sense, given how difficult it is to innovate within the real estate space. If you’re in the business of creating smart home products, you ideally want everyone to be able to buy it and quickly add it to what they already have. And as a consumer, you don’t want your permanent fixtures to become quickly outdated.
But if/when a standard emerges, I wonder if that doesn’t make it easier to develop a more holistic approach to smart home products. That could be really interesting. If you’d like to learn more about the project, click here.