Google, Apple, Amazon and the Zigbee Alliance, which includes IKEA, Legrand, NXP Semiconductors, Samsung, Signify and others, announced on Wednesday that will collaborate on a joint project aimed at creating a common standard for smart home devices.
The joint project will enable consumers to use devices from different companies on the same network, using an open-source and royalty-free software standard.
“We believe that the protocol has the potential to be widely adopted across home systems and assistants such as Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Apple's Siri and others,” a new working group said in a statement.
The new standard, which will be called “Project Connected Home over IP”, will be built off the back of Amazon's Alexa Smart Home, Apple's HomeKit, Google's Weave and Zigbee Alliance's Dotdot technologies.
“While smart home devices are abundant, the lack of an industry-wide connectivity standard leaves people confused and frustrated. It also places a heavy burden on manufacturers to make sure all devices are compatible with each other,” said Nik Sathe of Google Nest.
The group said that it welcomes device manufacturers and developers to contribute to the project aimed to see any new protocols instantly compatible with all devices on the network.
“If the Working Group succeeds with this goal, customers can be confident that their device of choice will work in their home and that they will be able to set up and control it with their preferred system,” Apple confirmed.
The group said that a draft of the new standard protocol will be released in late 2020.
“Developers and consumers will benefit from this new universal smart home connectivity standard. For developers, it simplifies product development and reduces costs by giving them one standard for building their products. You will then have the power to choose how you want to control your homes, independent of which smart home technology you choose,” said Grant Erickson, principal engineer with Google Nest.