Google, Amazon and Apple Form Smart Home Alliance

Google, Amazon and Apple have created Connected Home, an “independent working group managed by the Zigbee Alliance”. Their goal is to create a new connectivity standard based on IP, or Internet Protocol, which enables end-to-end encryption and improved cybersecurity for mobile applications, cloud servers and IoT devices. Nik Sathe, Google Nest’s Vice President of Engineering, along with Grant Erickson, the company’s Principal Engineer, wrote about the smart home technology alliance in a blog post from Google,

“Developers and consumers will benefit from this new universal smart home connectivity standard. For developers, it simplifies product development and reduces costs by giving them one standard for building their products. You will then have the power to choose how you want to control your homes, independent of which smart home technology you choose.”

Google is contributing their Weave and Thread open-sources technologies, both built on IP. Weave works over networks like cellular, Bluetooth Low Energy, Wi-Fi or Thread, allowing devices on different networks to work with each other securely.

iMac Computer

Apple Invests in Smart Home Technology

In August 2018, Apple joined the Thread Group, Google’s organization that           “[standardizes] low power mesh networking solutions” for connected devices. This technology is used in systems with Bluetooth, ZigBee or Z-wave technologies. Along with Apple, companies like TDK and Ubilogix are also part of the Threat Group.

Last October, Apple searched for new employees to work on smart home devices. Although they were the first company to create a voice assistant with Siri, Alexa has rapidly rose to the top in terms of both the number of skills as well as the number of compatible smart home devices. Apple’s new smart home team will focus on creating:

  • Smart light bulbs
  • Garage door sensors
  • Self-driving car
  • Augmented reality headset.

Although Siri is currently the third most popular voice assistant next to Alexa and Google Assistant, their increased spending on smart home technology may improve their chances of increasing market share.

FAQs

What is Zigbee?

ZigBee is an open source protocol and available to use for free. Some companies that use Z-Wave technology hedge their bets and also manufacture smart home appliances using ZigBee.

What is Z-Wave?

Z-Wave is proprietary technology that requires a license for companies to incorporate in their products. Z-Wave has been in use for years and has gained wide-spread corporate acceptance.

What is the Internet of Things?

The Internet of Things, commonly known as IoT, is any object that connects to the Internet such as smart light bulbs, locks or security cameras. These items can be controlled remotely through a mobile application.

Aliza Vigderman

Aliza Vigderman

Aliza is a journalist living in Brooklyn, New York. Throughout her career, her work has spanned many intersections within the tech industry. At SquareFoot, a New York-based real estate technology company, she wrote about the ways in which technology has changed the real estate industry, as well as the challenges that business owners face when they want to invest in property. At Degreed.com, an education technology website, Aliza created digital content for lifelong learners, exploring the ways in which technology has democratized education. Additionally, she has written articles for The Huffington Post as well as her own content on Medium, the online publishing platform. Aliza’s love of journalism and research stems from the excellent Journalism program at Brandeis University. At Brandeis, Aliza interned as a research assistant at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism, a non-profit “news room without walls”. There, Aliza was paired with an investigative journalist and used academic databases to obtain data on everything from the suicide rates in Bhutan to local Boston court cases. Her last position was as an account executive at Yelp, educating business owners on the power of technology to increase revenue. Throughout, however, her heart remained with tech journalism, and she’s thrilled to be writing for Security Baron. When she’s not keeping afloat of the latest tech trends, Aliza likes to cook, read, and write. A former high school “Class Clown,” Aliza has completed two feature-length screenplays, a pilot, and countless comedic sketches. On her days off you can find her relaxing in Prospect Park, trying the latest flavors at Ample Hills Ice Cream, and spending time with friends and family.

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