With myriad devices connecting over various wireless networking connectivity protocols, it has long been a confusing exercise to properly enable interoperability.
A new effort dubbed Project Connected Home over IP, announced on Dec. 18 aims to solve the Internet of Things interoperability challenge and it's got some big name backers. Rivals Amazon, Apple and Google have come together along with the Zigbee Alliance and its members IKEA, Legrand, NXP Semiconductors, Resideo, Samsung SmartThings, Schneider Electric, Signify (formerly Philips Lighting), Silicon Labs, Somfy, and Wulian.
The project aims to create an open source, royalty-free connectivity standard to increase compatibility among smart home products.
"The project aims to make it easier for device manufacturers to build devices that are compatible with smart home and voice services such as Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Google’s Assistant, and others," the group stated. "The planned protocol will complement existing technologies, and Working Group members encourage device manufacturers to continue innovating using technologies available today."
A core tenant of the Project Connected Home over IP (CHIP) effort is that it will be built on top of TCP/IP. The members have also pledged to make use of existing protocols and development work including Amazon's Alexa smart home, Apple HomeKit, Google Weave and the Zigbee Alliance's Dotdot.
The Dotdot model itself is a collaboration between the Thread Group and the Zigbee Alliance, first announced in January 2019. Thread itself launched back in 2014 as an effort to help improve IoT connectivity.
Grant Erickson, president of Thread Group commented that the fact that the challenge of IoT market fragmentation has brought the likes of Amazon, Apple, Google, and others to collaborate on the solution speaks to the gravitas of the problem to-date.
"Moreover, with this unprecedented collaboration, Project Connected Home over IP brings a powerful tailwind that will help usher in the next phase of growth for IoT," Erickson said.
Erickson added the Thread Group feels validated by the new project since it is aking the same IP-based approached Thread Group. Additionally, Project Connected Home over IP has designated Thread as a network layer for low power devices.
"We believe that this effort will confer tangible, meaningful benefits to both product manufacturers and consumers alike," Erickson commented. "We look forward to seeing what true convergence can bring to the market."
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.