Open Source Smart Home Standard

When we look around in the world today, there is no widely adopted open standard for smart homes which is built upon IP. Still, IP is the protocol of the internet and is the most common network layer used in our homes and offices so commonly. As we know, with IP you the important messages can be routed across networks independent of the physical and link layers underlying them and there are a plethora of sophisticated algorithms and infrastructure for performing routing, switching and firewalling in robust and resilient ways.

Topping on the network of IP, we have some well-known transport protocols like TCP and UDP. This makes IP an ideal way to deliver end-to-end security and privacy in communication between a device and another device, during Android and iOS application development services. Especially when talking about home automation and IoT security.

State of Home Automation

Today, we have a huge number of IP-bearing networks today, designed for different use cases. The protocol has been built on IP, hence the message traffic should be allowed to flow seamlessly across different kinds of networks.

The smart home devices in the market today use proprietary protocols, which require them to be tethered to a home network using dedicated proxies and translators. When you build them upon IP, these devices are then able to connect directly with standardized networking equipment.

What is the project and how it will work?

Project Connected Home over IP is a new ‘Working Group’ which has been created with the plan to develop and promote the adoption of a new, royalty-free connectivity standard which helps increase compatibility among smart home products. Security will be the fundamental design tenet in it.

To achieve this, tech giants like Amazon, Apple, Google, and the Zigbee Alliance have joined hands together in order to promote the formation of the Working Group. Zigbee Alliance board member companies IKEA, Legrand, NXP Semiconductors, Resideo, Samsung SmartThings, Schneider Electric, Signify (formerly Philips Lighting), Silicon Labs, Somfy, and Wulian are also on board the giant ship to join the Working Group and contribute their part in the project.

The Goal

The project aims at simplifying the overall development for manufacturers and increasing the compatibility for consumers. Project Connected Home over IP is built around a shared belief that smart home devices should be secure, reliable, and seamless to use. When built upon Internet Protocol, the project will aim to allow communication across smart home devices, mobile apps, and cloud services and to underline a precise set of IP-based networking technologies for device certification.

The project is to go open source by the industry Working Group when developing and implementing a new, unified connectivity protocol.

With this project, it will become easy for device manufacturers to engineer devices compatible with smart home and voice services like Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Google’s Assistant, and many other similar leading IoT devices. It will complement the existing technologies and the Working Group members are expected to help device manufacturers to continue innovating using technologies available today.

For Developers

This will make it easy for developers to build devices which are compatible with smart home services such as Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, Google Assistant, and others. It is supposed to include a proposed standard for lifecycle events with the likes of provisioning/onboarding, removal, error recovery, and software update among others.

Since it will be an open source project along with the creation of the specification, one can prototype the architecture and test it in real world use cases. By the end of the entire process, adopters can use this same code to speed up their product development.

The focus of this project will be aimed at new products and developers who are keen on innovating can join the Project Connected Home over IP Working Group.

For Consumers

With this project, overall customer experience in the smart home ecosystem will get a huge boost. The process here is to use smart home products that aren’t compatible with each other. The visionaries believe that the protocol has the potential to be widely adopted across home systems and assistants like Amazon Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant, and others. Pertaining to the success of this project, in future customers will be confident that their device of choice will work in their home and that they will be able to setup and control it with their preferred system, giving full control and command in their hands.

What is the Zigbee Alliance?

The aforementioned Zigbee Alliance is the foundation and future of the Internet of Things in a nutshell. The alliance was established in 2002 where their world-wide global membership collaborates to create and evolve universal open standards for the products transforming the way humans live, work, and play.

The group has a deep and diverse expertise, robust certification programs, and a full suite of open IoT solutions; leading the movement toward a more intuitive, imaginative, and useful world.

The board of directors in the Zigbee Alliance comprises of executives from Amazon, Apple, Comcast, Google, IKEA, The Kroger Co., LEEDARSON, Legrand, Lutron Electronics, MMB Networks, NXP Semiconductors, Resideo, Schneider Electric, Signify (formerly Philips Lighting), Silicon Labs, SmartThings, Somfy, Texas Instruments, and Wulian.

Final Thoughts

It is important to note that the group does not aim to standardize the currently existing smart home user interfaces like voice assistants, smart displays, mobile and desktop apps. The project will start with major components of existing market-tested technologies and will be later modified and tweaked as needed.

IoT as a whole has shown immense potential. Major industry pioneers have turned their heads towards IoT and are aiming high in terms of a smarter, better future. This move is one such step towards turning our imagination into reality. We shot for the moon and were able to step on it. Now, we are aiming for the stars– an all-connected all-encompassing future where communication is not just limited to living-beings but will cover each and every nook and cranny where the internet is consistent.


written by for Open Source section(s).