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TECH: Amazon, Apple and Google joining forces to make smart homes
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Amazon, Apple and Google joining forces to make smart homes
By Sophia Raymond

BT 202005 TECH 01In this evolving world, it’s quite obvious that technology makes our life easier. Whether it's shopping, traveling or communication, everything seems seamless and is just a few clicks away. Technology has been growing rapidly and now, three of the largest smart home and voice assistant suppliers, Amazon, Apple, and Google, have teamed up through Project Connected Home Over IP to provide internet connected smarter homes that are easier and more secure. They have also partnered with the Zigbee Alliance which works on the Internet of Things. Some of the key contributors include Zigbee Alliance board member companies IKEA, Legrand, NXP Semiconductors, Resideo, Samsung SmartThings, Schneider Electric, Signify (formerly Philips Lighting), as well as Silicon Labs, Somfy, and Wulian, all working to create the best standard and ensure the devices work well with each other.

无论是谷歌、苹果、还是亚马逊,都推出了自己旗下的智能家居产品,而由于各系统之间的兼容性问题,使得不同品牌旗下的智能家居产品很难进行统一调控。

这也就导致了用户在购买产品时需要先研究清楚自己购买的产品能否与已有的智能家居兼容。在实际消费与使用中难以避免的会出现重重的复杂问题。

而同样的问题也延伸到制造智能设备的公司。他们需要从一开始就决定是否要支持亚马逊、苹果或谷歌使用的各种连接方法,如果要支持,他们需要在设备的整个生命周期中不断更新设备,使其在所有平台上都是安全的。

消费者以及制造商这两方面的问题都影响着智能家居的发展进程。因此,苹果、谷歌、亚马逊三家联合宣布了一项合作,致力于一同推进智能家居应用更便利。

What is “Project Connected Home Over IP” ?

BT 202005 TECH 04Amazon, Apple, Google, and Zigbee have teamed up to develop an open source and royalty free standard to connect easily with smart home devices. This brand new standard will also work with existing protocols like WIFI, Bluetooth, thread, etc., so anyone can make use of it to develop a seamless smart home with increased compatibility and enhanced security. This project also uses tested smart home devices such as Amazon’s Alexa Smart Home, Apple’s HomeKit, Google’s Weave and Zigbee Alliance’s Dotdot data models.

BT 202005 TECH 02什么是“通过互联网协议(IP)的家庭互联项目”?

这一合作项目的目标是简化制造商的开发,提高消费者所购买设备的兼容性。且该项目基于一个共同的信念,即“智能家居设备应该是安全、可靠和无缝使用的。”同时,这一合作还旨在让设备制造商更容易地生产出与智能家居和语音服务兼容的设备,如亚马逊的Alexa、苹果的Siri、谷歌的Assistant等。

同时,以互联网协议(IP)为基础,让智能家居设备、移动应用和云服务之间的通讯成为可能,并为设备认证定义一套特定的基于IP的网络技术。

除了苹果、谷歌、亚马逊,ZigBee联盟也加入了这一项目,包括大家比较熟悉的三星SmartThings、Signify(飞利浦照明)、宜家等。

How will it work

BT 202005 TECH 03First and foremost, this project is aimed at making smart homes where the devices are connected using the IP address to offer reliable, secure and seamless connectivity. In this project, communication between smart home devices is the key factor. So, Internet protocol (IP) is built upon to allow connectivity among the smart home devices, smartphones, mobile applications, and other cloud services. Also, for device certification, a specific set of IP-based networking technologies is to be implemented.

Internet protocol (IP) being the most commonly used network layer in the home and office environment, the working group plans to develop an open source connectivity approach building upon IP which can be used by anyone. Through using IP, end-to-end security and privacy are also covered during the connection between multiple devices or applications. Nowadays, many smart home devices are already using certain protocols and proxies to connect with the home network. With this new standard, smart devices can be directly connected with standardized networking equipment. Apart from that, the working group will set specific IP-based networking technology for device certification, and manufactures must implement a minimum of one technology for seamless connectivity.

The Nest Mini from Google is an entry level smart speaker with Google Assistant built inThe Nest Mini from Google is an entry-level smart speaker with Google Assistant built-in

如何运作
在此项目中,智能家居设备之间的通信是关键因素。因此,基于互联网协议来允许智能家居设备,智能手机,移动应用程序和其他云服务之间的连接。

The end goal

Apples HomePodApple's HomePod

The ultimate goal of this project is to offer seamless connectivity between the home devices which any vendor can use. The working group aims to enhance the compatibility of the smart home devices to provide a better consumer experience. Developing this protocol will gradually increase the chances of the adoption of smart home devices. Since smart home devices are still growing. The IoT product from one brand to another will be interoperable. Currently, for instance, Google’s home assistant won't work with Amazon’s smart bulbs, so it is necessary to stick with one brand when choosing IoT products. However, by the end of this project, you will be able choose different companies as all will be compatible with other smart home devices, and you will be able to configure and control them from your system. Security of IoT products has also been a concern, and in this major collaboration, the working group aims to offer end-to-end security and privacy.

Bosch offers a stand alone solution for its smart home SystemBosch offers a stand-alone solution for its smart home System

最终目标

该项目的最终目标是任何供应商都可以使用的家用设备之间提供无缝连接。在该项目结束时,您可以选择不同的公司产品。

随着这些重大计划的快速发展,再不必担心弄清楚哪些智能设备可以相互配合。目前尚不确定何时发布这些产品,但该联盟的目标是在今年年底前准备好其新协议。

The global smart home market is set to grow $172.5 billion by 2025. With these major plans going ahead at a rapid pace, we will soon be able to connect smart devices easily without getting frustrated figuring out which smart devices work with each other. It’s still uncertain when the products will be released, but this alliance is aiming to have its new protocol ready by the end of this year. Initially, they plan to focus on physical safety devices such as smoke alarms, door locks, smart plugs, security systems, and heating or air conditioning controls, and the rest of the devices will be developed later.

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