If you hate installing a brand new app on your phone for every brand of light bulb or smart device, then read on. One day, you might only need one. But for that to happen we need a Smart Home standard like Connected Home IP to bring everyone together and speak the same language.
Today, Project Connected Home over IP published an update. But before talking about the latest, let me first get you back up to speed. Last January, the project was first announced with a collaboration between the biggest tech companies in the world. The goal is to build a platform that all smart devices can connect and communicate on, regardless of who made it or what Voice Assistant it works with. If all goes well, smart devices will work together in a much simpler and seamless way.
This project gets me excited. Heck, even if it achieves half of its goals, the project is still a step in the right direction for the Smart Home industry. Right now, the industry is a mess. On my phone I have over 20 apps from different companies, all controlling a different smart device. It’s unmanageable and downright frustrating. I hope this project can help pave the way to a simpler Smart Home experience.
So with this brief history in mind, let’s check in and see how the project is doing.
Things weren’t looking too good with nothing new mentioned since early January—that was the case until just recently. The Zigbee Alliance just published a post releasing new updates, including all sorts of technical details, like with the architecture itself.
More interestingly, they also mention which devices they plan to support, such as:
- Light Bulbs, Plugs, Outlets
- Door Locks, Garage Doors
- Sensors, Security Systems
- Window Shades
So really, they plan to support all the major device categories that are big and growing in the Smart Home space today. Nothing surprising from the list, and I don’t see anything left out that is concerning.
What’s most interesting to note is that the Zigbee Alliance is continuing to gain support with almost 150 companies contributing. So far, all the main players, including the big three, have signed on. This means most of the companies that are off building their own ecosystems have agreed to support this platform, which is a really good sign that the project will be successful.
You also see most of the major smart device markers backing this initiative, although I don’t see Phillips on the list yet, which is concerning. Smart Lights is initially the most important category for the platform, so it’s important to have all the major players within the space. Fortunately, many of Phillips’ competitors, like Nanoleaf and GE Lighting, are included—which is a good sign. Hopefully Phillips will come around sooner rather than later.
How you can help
The project is now in a good enough position to accept help from others. If you have any development skills, or want to learn some, take a look at their GitHub repository to lend a hand. I plan to get the project up and running myself here soon. See you there!