Tech giants Google, Apple and Amazon as well as the Zigbee Alliance have joined forces to create a new standard for smart home connectivity in order to increase compatibility among smart home products made by different companies. The technology companies decided to join hands for the project, Connected Home Over IP, in order to achieve a common standard for the smart home that is based on Internet Protocol or IP. The common standard will simplify product development and reduce costs for developers by giving them just one standard to build products, Google noted. Apple said that Zigbee Alliance board member companies such as IKEA, Legrand, NXP Semiconductors, Resideo, Samsung SmartThings, Schneider Electric, Signify, Silicon Labs, Somfy and Wulian will also join the working group and contribute to the project. Connected Home over IP is an independent working group managed by the Zigbee Alliance. The project intends to use contributions from market-tested smart home technologies from Amazon, Apple, Google, Zigbee Alliance and others, and leverage these technologies to accelerate the development of the protocol. Google noted in a blog post: "While they are plenty of smart home devices, the lack of an industry-wide connectivity standard leaves people confused when they try to understand what devices work with each smart home ecosystem." The lack of a common connectivity standard also places a heavy burden on manufacturers to make sure their devices are compatible with each other. The project intends to make it easier for device manufacturers to build devices that are compatible with services like Amazon's Alexa, Apple's Siri, Google's Assistant, and others. As the smart home devices will be compatible with various platforms, customers will be able to choose between Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri or other platforms. Google said it will contribute two of its open-source smart home technologies, Weave and Thread, to the project. Both are built on IP. Weave is an application protocol that works over various networks like Thread, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Low Energy, and even cellular networks. Thread is a network protocol.
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