Friday, December 20, 2019

Project Connected Home Over IP

Apple (via Hacker News):

The goal of the Connected Home over IP project is to simplify development for manufacturers and increase compatibility for consumers. The project is built around a shared belief that smart home devices should be secure, reliable, and seamless to use. By building upon Internet Protocol (IP), the project aims to enable communication across smart home devices, mobile apps, and cloud services and to define a specific set of IP-based networking technologies for device certification.

The industry working group will take an open-source approach for the development and implementation of a new, unified connectivity protocol. The project intends to use contributions from market-tested smart home technologies from Amazon, Apple, Google, Zigbee Alliance, and others.

See also: Project Connected Home over IP.

Update (2019-12-23): Benjamin Mayo:

Like everyone else, I was sceptical the moment the news broke. Why would these companies suddenly want to play happy families, after five years of constructing fiefdoms?

Well, I think I’ve figured out the motivations. This open protocol commoditises access to appliances and accessories. For manufacturers today, getting their stuff to work (and certified) with proprietary platforms is expensive and time consuming, especially for HomeKit. An open initiative should break down those walls and reduce costs. For Apple, Amazon and Google, they don’t base their business on the smart home accessories themselves. Their interest is in the voice assistants, in the intelligence layer, in the hardware and services that manages the accessories. And this doesn’t threaten that at all.

Update (2020-01-10): See also: The Talk Show.

3 Comments RSS · Twitter

This effort is about 10 years too late. "Smart Home" is a complete mess now. Are they really going to come up with something totally new and screw over all of the early adopters? All of the new construction which has a lot of this stuff built-in? I used SmartThings for 2 years and it mostly worked great... really good compatibility with lots of different devices, pretty good interface, scriptable, great tech support (I only stopped using it because I moved to a different living situation and didn't need it anymore). Google and Amazon's offerings weren't mature enough at the time (in early 2017) and Apple's HomeKit was, and probably still is, a complete joke which basically supported nothing at all and didn't really give the user control over anything (not a surprise). And the crazy thing is, I think Apple was one of the FIRST companies to dive into this... they totally squandered the lead they could have had. It's interesting that Apple is involved in making this more of an open standard, but I'm not holding my breath... they'll probably find a way to cripple it for Apple customers who buy the "open standard" devices.

Late yes, but not too late. I still have hope that this will improve things eventually. I mean, there certainly is substantial room for improvement and this effort seems serious and has the names to back it up. Nothing is guaranteed, of course, but I don't think we're worse of than before.

I'm still not sure why we couldn't just use already existing standards/protocols X10, MIDI and/or DMX all have standard, extensible, bi-directional controls for prettymuch every automated situation… and now we're just making new ones that probably aren't as well thought out. ::yawn::

I still want an entirely closed loop for home automation, with an intelligent assistant managing it… 'Siri in a box'. ML kits are locally runnable now, so why must everything be exposed to the internet? I'm totally cool with VPNing in order to control systems if I'm physically out of my LAN. All other alternatives are just thinly disguised surveillance vectors.

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