In a move that will act as a warm-up for their eventual take-over of the world economy, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Google (NASDAQ:GOOG)(NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) team up to create an open-source smart home industry standard. It will ensure the compatibility of devices from different producers and govern how new devices will be developed.
The project has been donned ‘Project Connected Home over IP’. I know what you’re thinking, the copywriters must have been let off early for Christmas. Aside from the riveting name, the venture is a welcome relief for customers, who can now be ‘confident that their device of choice will work in their home and that they will be able to set up and control it with their preferred system’. Basically, smart-home owners will be free to buy any device they choose without having to worry whether it is compatible with their voice assistant or smartphone of choice.
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The tech-giant triumvirate is joined by the Zigbee Alliance, whose members include IKEA, Samsung SmartThings, and NXP Semiconductors (NASDAQ:NXPI). The standard is set to be released in late 2020 and will initially focus on home safety devices such as smoke detectors, smart doors and locks. So much like Cerberus guarded the gates of hell, this three-headed tech giant will guard the gates to your semi-detached.
What does this mean for big-tech?
The project signifies a statement of intent from the technology giants. With the market for smart-home devices set to grow by 23.5% this year to 815 million devices, and predicted to reach as much as 1.39 billion devices by 2023, this standard will hope to ensure this growth remains steady by offering a guarantee which customers can rely on.
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In terms of the bigger picture, could this alliance lead to further compatibility down the line? Will you finally be able to set Spotify as your default music player on your Airpods? Will Siri direct you using Google Maps? Time will tell, but this type of joint venture could initiate cross-device synergies which may actually benefit the customer for once. Let’s hope they get on like a smart-house on fire.
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