In a partnership of unlikely members in the smart home space, Apple, Amazon, and Google have joined together with the Zigbee Alliance to create a new working group that aims to build smart home and IoT products that will play nice with each other. The group will develop and promote a new royalty-free connectivity standard that will increase compatibility among smart home products while ensuring security.
The group has christened this project “Project Connected Home over IP” or Project CHIP. The companies that are a part of the working group undertaking Project CHIP will utilise an open-source approach for creating this new, unified connectivity standard. With giants like Apple, Amazon, and Google coming together, Project CHIP will also benefit from utilising the technologies used in smart home products from these companies.
Ultimately, it’s the project’s hope to make it easier for device manufacturers to build smart home and IoT devices that work easily with the Google Assistant, Siri, and Amazon Alexa, thereby solving the problem of compatibility among smart home devices and smart assistants.
It’s no secret that buying a smart home product as a consumer today is almost inevitably going to tie the consumer down into an ecosystem of products. Not all smart home devices support Google Assistant, Alexa, and Siri at the same time which are three of the most popular smart assistants. Moreover, devices with support for Apple HomeKit are incredibly limited so far, especially outside of the US.
Here’s hoping Project CHIP is able to create a standard that is easily employable by device manufacturers so consumers like you and I can buy smart home devices without having to restrict ourselves to only using Echos, or Google Homes, or HomePods in our houses.