As the smart home gadget market has grown over recent years various companies have pushed users to choose their particular ecosystem. These competing standards are rarely good for consumers - and once you take the plunge for one smart home system you might feel virtually tied in. However, when I've been looking for smart devices for my home, a lot of the devices seem to support multiple standards. Things look like they will be getting better soon though, thanks to Project Connected Home over IP.
Yesterday the Zigbee Alliance announced that it was working with Amazon (Alexa smart home), Apple (Siri, HomeKit) and Google (Assistant, Weave) to "develop and promote the adoption of a new, royalty-free connectivity standard to increase compatibility among smart home products". The new standard will include security as a fundamental part of the design, and would make it easier, simpler and more secure for consumers to pick and choose smart home components. In case you are wondering about your non-big-three smart home kit, the Zigbee Alliance covers member companies such as IKEA, Legrand, NXP Semiconductors, Resideo, Samsung SmartThings, Schneider Electric, Signify (formerly Philips Lighting), Silicon Labs, Somfy, TI and Wulian.
As indicated by the name, the Connected Home over IP project builds upon Internet Protocol based networking technologies. The new open source tech will use contributions from big smart home players like Amazon, Apple, Google, Zigbee Alliance, and others. It will make the open standard available to device manufacturers, silicon providers, and other developers to accelerate development of devices and technologies that work together in a smart home. When the standard is ready, devices will be certified to this standard and then consumers will know they will work with other smart home equipment they already own.
No timescale is provided for the introduction of the first Project Connected Home over IP standard devices. Hopefully a lot of existing smart home hubs and connected devices can receive updates to work with the standard and grow their level of compatibility.