Written by Cheryl Tan


It’s been a longstanding issue, smart appliances not using the same connectivity standard. Consumers have skirted the issue somewhat by resorting to measures like only purchasing smart appliances from a single brand, but that limits what you can use in your smart home.

But what if I want to use Philips Hue lights, an LG fridge, a Samsung TV, Roomba vacuum and a Sony soundbar? Sure, they might all connect together, but features might not work as perfectly and seamlessly as they should.

Now Apple, Google, Amazon and Zigbee Alliance have agreed on a partnership to develop and promote a new connectivity standard that uses Internet Protocol (IP) and aims to be the standard across the board.

Zigbee Alliance is already working with brands like IKEA, Samsung SmartThings, Signify (previously Philips Lighting) and more, with these brands looking to join the project called Connected Home Over IP and contribute.

Current smart home appliances will still continue to work and be supported by the brands, but we’re left wondering whether current devices will be compatible with the new protocol.

It’s made clear that this project is not an attempt to merge voice assistants or user interfaces, however, so you’ll still be limited to Siri on Apple’s HomePod, Alexa on Amazon Echo devices and such.

Don’t expect to see it anytime soon however; the draft for protocol specifications is expected to come out only in late 2020. More information about the Connected Home Over IP project can be found on their website.