You’ve almost certainly heard the announcement about the Connected Home over IP project, spearheaded by Amazon, Apple, and Google, within the Zigbee Alliance. All we can really say, is that we’re excited to finally be able to talk about it! And for a number of reasons.
How do we get rid of the frustration in the smart home?
As consumers, we’ve all felt the frustration of a fragmented smart home. The smart home today feels like the early days of the Internet, with access to services split up into AOL, Compuserve, MSN, etc. They all used the same connectivity technologies — but with different protocols and ecosystems. Connecting between any of them required complex workarounds manageable by only the most sophisticated and motivated users. Sound familiar?
Although that early Internet was frustrating, it was valuable. Those ecosystems curated a friendly introduction to unfamiliar technology, helping users understand how the Internet could bring value to their lives — and helping the industry understand what users valued.
Eventually, all these services started to look a lot like each other, and instead of closed ecosystems largely competing on locking users in, the Internet opened up using common protocols, and exploded with innovation that transformed every aspect of our lives.
This is the kind of transformation that the Zigbee Alliance’s Connected Home over IP project represents.
What’s in it for the Consumer?
One of the main goals of this project is to improve the consumer experience in the smart home. A key component of that being the ability to provide consumers with the power of choice on how to control their smart home – by making it easier for them to use their smart home devices on whichever platform they’ve already chosen.
The resulting technology developed out of this project has the potential to be widely adopted across home systems and assistants such as Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and others.
We see this widespread adoption as the catalyst for achieving what we’ve been striving for at MMB Networks for so long – creating a more interoperable and consumer friendly smart home that just works.
What about Developers and Product Manufacturers?
Developers and product manufacturers benefit from the Connected Home over IP project in much the same way as just described for the consumer.
The goal from this perspective is to reduce product development time and costs by making it easier for developers to build a device that is compatible with smart home services such as Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, Google Assistant, and others.
Our customers have certainly reported frustration of having to navigate the various challenges related to interoperability between smart home services and products when trying to get to market. We see this project as an answer to this frustration in many ways.
What happens now?
So it’s been difficult, as we’ve worked with our fellow Alliance board members, and with Amazon, Apple, and Google, to lay the foundation for this project, not to share our excitement with our colleagues, our customers, and sometimes frustrated consumers.
And now finally, we can. More about this project will be coming over time and we know there’s a lot of questions about how to get involved. Get in contact with us, or meet with us at CES in a couple of weeks. We’ll gladly help you figure out what this means for your roadmap, for the industry, and how to best get engaged with this exciting next stage of growth in the smart home.