retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Seeking Alpha reports that Amazon, Apple and Google are working together to "create a new standard that will make it easier for smart home products from different companies to work together."

In other words, Alexa can talk to Siri, which can talk to Google.

The story says that the three companies are partnering with the Zigbee Alliance on Project Connected Home … Once the standard is defined, applicable products will bear a logo letting customers know it's supported by Project Connected Home."

Other companies developing smart home devices - like Samsung and Ikea - already are working with the Alliance. Standards are expected to be drafted by the end of next year.

The Financial Times writes that "the alliance said a shared, open source approach to building smart devices should “accelerate the development” of a smart home protocol — a set of rules governing format — that will “deliver benefits to manufacturers and consumers faster.”

And, the FT story notes that "the market for smart devices is expected to grow 14.4 per cent a year to 1.4bn shipped units in 2023, according to the International Data Corporation. Carolina Milanesi, an analyst at Creative Strategies, said the move would benefit consumers, who will not have to worry about which smart light, thermostat or fridge will be compatible with their voice assistant."
KC's View:
If these folks are going to find ways to work together, I have to wonder if this creates even more need for the Open Voice Network, which I wrote about here a few months ago. The Open Voice Network is designed to make this technology accessible to everyone, without needing the likes of Amazon, Apple and Google as an interface … in other words, voice for everyone else. Or, a kind of democratization that may be inevitable.