Jump to content

Big news: Amazon, Apple, Google, Zigbee to develop new standard for smart homes


Recommended Posts

Big news for home automation: "Amazon, Apple, Google, Zigbee Alliance and board members form working group to develop open standard for smart home devices".

 

Zigbee wins!?

 

https://www.connectedhomeip.com

https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2019/12/amazon-apple-google-and-the-zigbee-alliance-to-develop-connectivity-standard/

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like the general idea. I wonder how long it will take for the many participating members of the alliance to reach agreement? Who will create something based on a draft, which then spawns a branch "standard" and it all ends in acrimony (did I mention I've seen this before? No? Oh, sorry about that ? )

 

And with a Chinese entity (Wulian) in the pack , I wonder how long it will be before some Western state nation screams foul?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Big news for cloud connected smart homes built around smart speaker voice assistants. But it's not clear what their stance will be around local connection only, non-cloud connected (or cloud-optional) devices, which IMHO is where the biggest problems lie for long lasting adoption of  home automation. 

 

Thread (Nests protocol), WiFi and Bluetooth are also mentioned so not obvious that this is ZigBee winning (although zwave left out in the cold)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, joth said:

Big news for cloud connected smart homes built around smart speaker voice assistants. But it's not clear what their stance will be around local connection only, non-cloud connected (or cloud-optional) devices, which IMHO is where the biggest problems lie for long lasting adoption of  home automation. 

 

Exactly. The biggest hassle with home automation is configuring things (setting up which Wi-Fi to talk to, what its password is, what the IP address of the hub(s) is/are, and so on). If they start with the assumption of a cloud service then whatever they do will just make things harder for anybody who cares about reliability and privacy.

 

2 hours ago, joth said:

Thread (Nests protocol), WiFi and Bluetooth are also mentioned so not obvious that this is ZigBee winning (although zwave left out in the cold)

 

Indeed but they do claim to be somewhat agnostic with regards to what's moving their IP packets around.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

30 minutes ago, Stewpot said:

 

+1

 

I think it sounds awful.

 

It's not an invasion of privacy at all. Some people like to be able to control / automate their home, eg. Switching on/off a light without walking to press a switch 450mm to 1200mm above the floor.  YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The invasion of privacy comes from audio data being constantly sent back to the servers of the companies selling these units, for almost all the processing of it into meaningful instructions.  Some believe that the cheap box they have is actually doing all the voice recognition, when the reality is that all that cheap box can do is recognise a single key word, and then transmit all the audio from just before that keyword to some time after it, back to servers that are outside of your house, probably on a different continent, with different privacy laws, in order to be analysed.  The same transmitted audio data is also recorded by those same servers, and may be listened to by people for any reason that the companies providing these services wish, as has recently been made public.  Having one of these things in your home is exactly like having an open microphone connected directly to systems that maybe anywhere in the world. 24/7.  If people trust that these units will only send audio data when they correctly interpret their keyword, then they need their bumps felt, as there is plenty of evidence that they can and do get key word recognition wrong.

 

There's a good reason that, for example, the voice recognition capabilities of dirt cheap units like  Alexa, etc, are so much better than the voice recognition system in my bit of fairly expensive tech on four wheels, and that's because, despite a fair bit of powerful processing power (enough to run some pretty capable AI), the systems in my car are nowhere near as powerful as the big servers operated by Amazon, et al, and the car has to rely on on-board processing for voice recognition.  Because of this, its voice recognition is pretty primitive.  It's a bit better than it was in my old Prius, but orders of magnitude less capable than the cheap boxes sold by Google, Amazon etc.

 

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fairly content free update from Thread on it here:

https://www.threadgroup.org/news-events/blog/ID/222/IP-Drives-IoT-Convergence-for-Thread-and-Project-Connected-Home-over-IP#.XfqvW5P7R24 still seems like "early days".

 

Separately, it seems this is a collaborative approach developing between Homekit, Thread/Weave and Zigbee, none of which (as protocol architectures at least) are strongly tied to cloud dependent topology or surveillance capitalism business models, so my cautious optimism for it has increased a few notches.

 

Edited by joth
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...