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Apple, Amazon, Google, and Zigbee Alliance to Develop Open Standard for Smart Home Devices [Updated]

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Apple, Amazon, Google, and the Zigbee Alliance today announced a new working group that plans to develop and promote the adoption of a new IP-based connectivity standard for smart home products, with a focus on increased compatibility, security, and simplified development for manufacturers.


Zigbee Alliance board member companies such as IKEA, Legrand, NXP Semiconductors, Resideo, SmartThings, Schneider Electric, Signify, Silicon Labs, Somfy, and Wulian will also contribute to the project.

The so-called "Project Connected Home over IP" aims to make it easier for device manufacturers to build devices that are compatible with smart home and voice services such as Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant, and others by defining a specific set of IP-based networking technologies for device certification.

The new standard will incorporate existing smart home technologies, such as Apple's HomeKit and Google's Weave and Thread:
We're contributing two of our market-tested and open-source smart home technologies, Weave and Thread. Both are built on IP and have been integrated into millions of homes around the world. Weave, an application protocol, works over many networks like Thread, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Low Energy, and even cellular. Even when devices are on different networks, Weave allows them all to securely work with each other.
The new connectivity standard will be open source and royalty free, with code to be maintained on GitHub. The working group has a goal to release a draft specification and a preliminary reference implementation in late 2020.

For consumers, this should ultimately lead to more smart home accessories that support multiple platforms like HomeKit and Alexa.

Update: Resideo, maker of Honeywell-branded smart home products, has announced that it has joined the Zigbee Alliance. Alongside other members, Resideo will play a role in the Connected Home over IP project.

Article Link: Apple, Amazon, Google, and Zigbee Alliance to Develop Open Standard for Smart Home Devices [Updated]
 
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mozumder

macrumors 6502a
Mar 9, 2009
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something like this could use a low-voltage connector as well. Could be USB-C ports on walls.
 
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kpeex

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Oct 22, 2013
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I welcome our new overlords. The current ones haven't exactly been the Apple Experience. I come from the 'it can't get much worse' school of hard knocks.
 
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cknibbs

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Dec 12, 2012
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Up until this point I make sure that any smart home stuff I buy is compatible with all three... I hope they bring support to existing devices but I doubt it. Other than that I see this as welcome news.
 
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1144557

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Sep 13, 2018
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Good. HomeKit hasn’t exactly lit the world on fire. I’m fully in the Apple ecosystem, but I use Alexa-compatible smart home devices because there’s just so many more of them do it’s so much less expensive than the HomeKit version.

Most homekit stuff is ridiculously expensive. I get security issues for things like cameras, but do I care if Google/Amazon/etc knows my smartplug lamp is on or off? Or how much electricity its using? No so much.

Not when its $10 vs $40 (homkit version) for the device. $40 per outlet REALLY adds up. Same with bulbs, do people care if its "secure" really? What possible personal info is out there from a bulb being on or off?
 
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Oh_FFS

macrumors newbie
Dec 18, 2019
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Why do we need yet another standard? We already have Zigbee and z-wave. Why can't the big three just get onboard with an existing protocol?

Yes, there are some weaknesses but why not work on improving the existing standards instead of forcing people into something else????
 
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H3LL5P4WN

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Jun 19, 2010
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Not sure if this is the best move for Apple. I’ll take security over product availability or price any day. Apple seems to be the only one with security at the forefront.

Hopefully Apple's in the driver's seat on this new group. The last thing I want is Amazon dictating what can and can't be done with my data.

Most homekit stuff is ridiculously expensive. I get security issues for things like cameras, but do I care if Google/Amazon/etc knows my smartplug lamp is on or off? Or how much electricity its using? No so much.

Not when its $10 vs $40 (homkit version) for the device. $40 per outlet REALLY adds up. Same with bulbs, do people care if its "secure" really? What possible personal info is out there from a bulb being on or off?

So extrapolate from your statement, you'd be totally fine if I got on your WiFi network, right? Cause there can't possibly be any personal info floating around in the air in your home, right?

---

It's entirely possible for someone to use an IoT device as a pivot point on a network... or manipulate those devices. Smart devices aren't limited to just light bulbs. Someone could manipulate your furnace and roast you or turn your lights on at 3am.

EDIT: OR TERRORIZE YOUR DAUGHTER

Or unlock your door when you're not home.

But yeah, totally no personal info from an insecure bulb.
 
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ACE83

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Apr 8, 2015
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Most homekit stuff is ridiculously expensive. I get security issues for things like cameras, but do I care if Google/Amazon/etc knows my smartplug lamp is on or off? Or how much electricity its using? No so much.

Not when its $10 vs $40 (homkit version) for the device. $40 per outlet REALLY adds up. Same with bulbs, do people care if its "secure" really? What possible personal info is out there from a bulb being on or off?

I think the issue is more than if someone is able to gauge if your smart plug is on or off. An unsecured IOT device can be used as a gateway to comprise your whole network.
 
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Kabeyun

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Mar 27, 2004
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This is excellent news! Imagine if every appliance company had their own power plug design. I’m about to deploy a bunch of HomeKit light switches & a couple of locks but I’m sure my HomePod will be backwards compatible with whatever standard comes out.
 
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