Google, Amazon, Apple and Zigbee Alliance have come together to create a connectivity standard for common and open Smart Home devices. The working group has been baptized with the name Connected Home over IP, and its objective is to guarantee compatibility between connected products of the smart home.

More and more houses are equipped with connected smart devices governed by a voice assistant. Smart speakers have become the new center of our homes, and through them we can control lighting, smart plugs, Smart TV, robot vacuum cleaner or washing machine, to name just a few examples.

Connected smart devices make our lives a lot easier, but compatibility issues can also give us many headaches. And, today, different standards coexist depending on brands and manufacturers.

The Connected Home over IP working group was born precisely to solve these difficulties. “The goal of the project is to make it easier for manufacturers to create devices that are compatible with voice and Smart Home services such as Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, Google Assistant, and others,” the companies said on the project’s official website. “The protocol envisaged will complement existing technologies”.

The new standard will be based on IP (Internet Protocol) and its design will have security as a fundamental principle. IP is the protocol chosen because it is the most used network layer in homes and offices, and it is a secure and widely tested technology. Allows end-to-end, private and secure communication between smart devices, mobile applications, and cloud services.

The Connected Home over IP project will define a specific set of IP-based network technologies for device certification. The objective of the first version of the specification will be up to WiFi 6 (formerly known as WiFi 802.11ax), and IP implementations for Bluetooth 4.1, 4.2 and 5.0. Later, other technologies with IP such as Ethernet, mobile and broadband are likely to be covered.

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As the official website of the project explains, the new standard will be applicable to new products. However, this does not mean that current devices stop working: Amazon, Apple and Google are committed to continuing offering support to users of their products.

The draft of the new Connected Home over IP specification will be available by the end of 2020.