Amazon, Apple, Google and ZigBee Alliance Joining Forces to Create a New Standard

Sunday, 22 December 2019

IoT devices have been around for quite some time now and there’s no ruler protocol to put all of them together1, and regarding security, which is one of the most concerning topics, it’s not so rare to hear of breaches.

Seattle and Cupertino, Mountain View and Davis, California – Amazon, Apple, Google, and the Zigbee Alliance today announced a new working group that plans to develop and promote the adoption of a new, royalty-free connectivity standard to increase compatibility among smart home products, with security as a fundamental design tenet. Zigbee Alliance board member companies are also onboard to join the working group and contribute to the project.

Thinking about the companies’ strengths: Amazon has the largest catalogue of IoT products, Apple has the best user experience, while Google masters indexing and ZigBee knows its way into specifications and standards.

These four companies are joining forces to try to unify this whole mess of a very fragmented market and maybe provide the best of these worlds to the final user. Because it’s not enough to have what we currently have and just have them talk to Alexa, Siri and Assistant.

The project Connected Home over IP will be open source and may address challenges like Security, Authentication, Updates, Privacy2; as described on this post from IBM.

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.

  1. Think about having a lot of companies implementing 4G and your 4G SIM card only work with your phone because it was made by a company X.
  2. Including GDPR compliance for devices in Europe; specially because this standard can also provide a structured way to collect data that can be used for advertising.
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