Tech giants ease smart home rivalry - Mobile World Live

Tech giants ease smart home rivalry

19 DEC 2019

Amazon, Apple and Google agreed to collaborate on improving smart home products in a bid to push compatibility and adoption, representing a rare partnership between the technology rivals.

In a statement, the three companies, along with IoT standards association Zigbee Alliance said they will establish a working group to develop and promote the adoption of a new, royalty free connectivity standard.

The standard will help drive increased compatibility among smart home products, with security “as a fundamental design tenet”, said the companies.

Dubbed the Connected Home over IP project, the group added it wants to simplify development of smart home devices for manufacturers, and take an open-source approach for the development and implementation of a new, unified connectivity protocol.

Playing nice
The partnership between Amazon, Apple and Google comes as something of a surprise, as the companies have been embroiled in a battle for dominance in the home technology segment over the past few years.

Amazon and Google account for a large majority of smart speakers sold globally, which are powered by their AI platforms Alexa and Assistant, respectively. Apple entered the fray in 2018 with HomePod, using its Siri assistant.

Manufacturers today are often forced to choose which voice assistant they want to use within their products. For example, Hive’s smart home products are compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant but not Siri.

However, with the partnership, the companies hope to change the landscape and ensure devices are compatible with more voice services.

The Zigbee Alliance said its board members, which include Ikea, NXP Semiconductors and Samsung, will also contribute to the project.

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Kavit Majithia

Kavit joined Mobile World Live in May 2015 as Content Editor. He started his journalism career at the Press Association before joining Euromoney’s graduate scheme in April 2010. Read More >>

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