Amazon, Apple and Google unite in smart home partnership

19 December 2019, 10:54

Smart speakers
Smart speakers. Picture: PA

The firms have pledged to work together for more compatibility between their rival products.

Technology rivals Amazon, Apple and Google have announced a new partnership designed to improve compatibility between their smart home products.

The firms, along with the Zigbee Alliance, have created Project Connected Home over IP, which they say will help make smart home products more compatible with a wider range of operating systems and speakers – making them easier for consumers to set-up and use.

The Zigbee Alliance includes firms such as Ikea and Samsung SmartThings, which also manufacturer smart home devices.

Amazon and Google, through their respective voice assistants Alexa and the Google Assistant and the smart speakers in which they are housed, hold the majority of market share in smart home products.

However, not all smart home devices – which can include connected lightbulbs, entertainment systems and kitchen appliances – are compatible with every virtual assistant or platform.

Amazon Echo
The partnership should help link-up smart devices (PA)

Announcing the partnership via its new website , the companies said the aim is to “simplify development for manufacturers and increase compatibility for consumers”.

The group said it wants to develop a connectivity standard – with security a fundamental feature – which all their respective smart home products would use.

It said it hopes a shared approach will resolve current issues around compatibility in the market.

The group said: “The project aims to improve the consumer experience of trying to use smart home products that aren’t compatible with each other.

“We believe that the protocol has the potential to be widely adopted across home systems and assistants such as Amazon Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant, and others.

“If the working group succeeds with this goal, customers can be confident that their device of choice will work in their home and that they will be able to set up and control it with their preferred system.”

The group said it hopes to publish its first draft specifications on the issue by the end of next year.

By Press Association

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