Earlier this week, the Zigbee Alliance foundation, known for the development of universal IoT standards, has revealed an update on its open-source smart home platform project. The project was first announced in December 2019 as a collaboration between the Zigbee Alliance, Google, Apple, and Amazon.
The project was called Project Connected Home over IP and it was developed with the idea to have a unified standard for smart home devices. Currently, they’ve released an update on it which gives us more of what to expect and when to expect it.
Connecting your home with IP
The adoption of this standard would supposedly simplify the development process for manufacturers and increase the devices’ compatibility for consumers. In other words, any IoT smart home device would work in your home, whether you’re using Google Assistant, Alexa, Siri, or any other platform.
Google, Amazon, and Apple have offered their technology to accelerate this project’s development. The communication will be carried out through aptly through Internet Protocol, or IP.
Enabling IP will allow communication across smart home devices, mobile apps, and cloud services. With that, a specific set of IP-based networking technologies for device certification will be defined. Using IP also means inheriting transport layer protocols like TCP and UDP, which enhances end-to-end security and privacy in communication with your device.
Project Connected Home over IP is developing into reality! We are proud to be part of this industry changing collaboration that is transforming the future of the IoT with a new, royalty free connectivity standard coming in 2021. Read the full update: https://t.co/knkOyAsof4 pic.twitter.com/iHNeXn2puX
— Zigbee Alliance (@zigbeealliance) September 8, 2020
As confirmed by this latest update, the standard will apply to almost every home device. This includes lighting and electrical devices, window covering, TVs, and HVAC controls. It also includes access controls, safety and security, bridges, and other devices. Over the last year alone, 145 companies have joined the Alliance and are contributing to the project.
They’re pretty transparent about the work, too. Zigbee Alliance has recently launched a GitHub repository for the project, specifying the goals, architecture overview, and status. According to the guidelines, any open-source contributor can get involved in the project, as long as they’re prepared to license their work to the Zigbee Alliance.
Project Connected Home over IP promises to unify all the advantages of technologies to benefit both consumers and manufacturers. It would certainly be interesting to see how well the different home devices will apply in practice, given the constant emergence of new technologies. In the meantime, we can expect it to be released in 2021.
Photo credits: The feature photo has been taken by BENCE BOROS. The photo of the logo in the article body is owned by Zigbee Alliance and has been provided for press usage.
Sources: Zigbee Alliance News September 2020 / Zigbee Alliance News December 2019 / GitHub / Jacob Kastrenakis (The Verge) / Chaim Gartenberg (The Verge)