Tech giants join the Zigbee Alliance to develop standards for smart home tech compatibility

Amazon, Apple, and Google are collaborating with the Zigbee Alliance to create a new standard that will make it easier for smart tech products from the different brands to work together. The parties have launched a working group to create and promote new guidances to increase compatibility for smart home products. The goal is to start communication across hardware, mobile apps, and cloud services. It would also make it easier for manufacturers to create products that work with Amazon Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and Google Assistant.

The Zigbee Alliance counts IKEA, Legrand, NXP Semiconductors, Resideo, Samsung SmartThings, Schneider Electric, Signify (formerly Philips Lighting), Silicon Labs, Somfy, and Wulian as members.

The statement from Zigbee noted that security would be “a fundamental design tenet” for the new standards. Privacy has already been a hot-button topic for voice tech, with questions remaining about when and how companies record their customers, and what happens with that audio.

Anna Washenko