There’s no denying the fact that smart home devices have made life a lot more convenient. Whether you don’t feel like getting up to turn off the light or just want to know the weather, there’s an Internet of Things (IoT) gadget that can handle the task.
The only problem is that most smart home devices don’t play well together. Since many of them are based on different architectures and platforms, consumers have to be very careful when adding new pieces to their smart home.
Project CHIP (Connected Home over IP) aims to change that. Established by the Zigbee Alliance, it brings together Google, Amazon, Apple, and 170 other manufacturers to ensure that IoT devices are compatible regardless of their brand.
According to a recent webinar hosted by the Zigbee Alliance, the first Project CHIP devices may start arriving at the end of the year. To make this happen, device manufacturers will be able to start getting their gadgets certified in late 2021.
Very few things bring tech giants like Google and Apple together. However, the Project CHIP initiative is a win-win situation for everyone involved.
Consumers benefit by knowing that their smart home devices will be compatible with each other. It also gives them the flexibility to choose the best gadgets on the market regardless of their brand. Currently, some buyers may compromise on a device, a smart speaker for instance, to ensure that everything is compatible. Once project CHIP becomes the industry standard, this will no longer be an issue.
For device manufacturers, this will supposedly lead to increased adoption of IoT gadgets. That means more consumers will be spending money in the space—regardless of which brand they choose.
What is Project CHIP?
Simply put, the Project CHIP standard consists of three technologies. The first is Bluetooth Low-Energy for device setup.
Secondly, CHIP dictates that devices use Wi-Fi for high-bandwidth applications. Think of things like constant video feeds from a security camera or streaming between a phone and a Chromecast.
Perhaps the most important piece is the Thread mesh network protocol. This allows low-bandwidth devices like sensors to communicate with each other. Ensuring that all devices are compatible with Thread makes this possible.
For consumers, another benefit is that Project CHIP devices will work with all major voice assistants. Although this has become more common in recent years anyway, it will be nice to not have to think about it anymore.
Anyone that’s interested in smart home gadgets should be excited about the potential of Project CHIP. The space has grown significantly throughout the past few years. However, more compatibility between devices on the market will lead to refreshed growth.
Consumers should keep an eye out for things like smart lighting, TVs, door locks, security systems, and thermostats when Project CHIP devices start to roll out later this year. Fortunately, it sounds like this will be happening just in time for the holiday shopping season.