Technology giants Apple, Amazon and Google, have set aside their rivalry to form partnerships on the ‘smart home’ revolution.
The idea is to improve compatibility between devices such as thermostats, speakers, and security cameras.
The firms, along with the Zigbee Alliance, created Project Connected Homes over IP, which they say will help make smart home products more compatible with a broader range of operating systems and speakers — making them more accessible for consumers to install. And use.
The Zigbee Alliance includes firms such as Ikea and Samsung SmartThings, which also manufacture smart home devices.
Amazon and Google, through their respective voice assistants Alexa and Google Assistant and the smart speakers in which they are housed, hold the majority of the market share in smart home products.
However, all smart home devices – which may include connected light bulbs, entertainment systems, and kitchen appliances – are compatible with every virtual assistant or platform.
Announcing the partnership through its new website, the companies said it aims to ‘simplify growth for manufacturers and increase compatibility for consumers’.
The group said it wants to develop a connectivity standard with security — an infrastructure that will use all of their respective smart home products.
It added that it hoped that a common approach would resolve current issues around market compatibility. Existing smart home setups can be conflicting and confusing (Rex features)
The group said: ‘The project aims to improve the consumer experience of trying to use smart home products that are not compatible with each other.
‘We believe that the protocol has the potential to be widely adopted in-home systems and assistants such as Amazon Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant and others.
‘If the working group succeeds with this goal, customers can be confident that the device of their choice will work in their home and will be able to install and control it with their preferred system.
The group said it expects to publish its first draft specifications on the issue by the end of next year.
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