Back in 2019, Apple joined Amazon, Google, the Zigbee Alliance, and over 170 other companies to work on a new smart home standard called CHIP. After some delays, new smart home devices will be able to get certification for CHIP late this year which means we could see the first products arrive on the market in Q4.
Project CHIP, which stands for “Connected Home over IP” was started with the goal of leveraging HomeKit, Alexa Smart Home, Google Weave, and Zigbee’s Dotdot data models to make it easier for companies to create smart home devices that are universally compatible across platforms.
It’s an open-source initiative that could be good for both the companies involved as well as consumers and uses Bluetooth LE for setup as well as Wi-Fi and Thread for connectivity.
The end result the initiative is hoping for is a class of smart home devices that will work for consumers no matter what platform or smart home devices they already use.
Spotted by The Verge, the Zigbee Alliance announced in a webinar this week that certification for the first round of CHIP devices will come by late 2021 – so it’s possible we could see the first supported products on shelves for the holidays.
The first devices to come with CHIP support will include “lighting, blinds, HVAC controls, TVs, door locks, garage door openers, security systems, and Wi-Fi routers.”
Along with building CHIP support into new products, the standard could come to existing smart home devices through bridges. However, without more details, it’s not clear if the benefits of CHIP will be compelling enough to entice users to pick up something like that.
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