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Big tech wants to make all your smart home devices work together

Smart home devices aren’t just a novelty anymore. These products are on the rise, and homes across America are experiencing the benefits of convenient, automated living.

But one downside to smart homes is the sheer amount of products available. There are multiple versions of these products that all do the same thing, and many are only compatible with specific devices. This can make it difficult to know what’s right for your home. Tap or click to see the best smart home starter kit.

But those days are about to be a thing of the past. An unlikely alliance of some of the world’s biggest tech companies is collaborating on a new internet standard that will lay the foundation for tomorrow’s smart home tech. And best of all, it’s closer than you think. Here’s what we know about this intriguing new program.

A technological supergroup

According to new reports from CNBC, tech giants Apple, Google, Amazon and the Zigbee Alliance have joined forces for a new initiative that aims to simplify smart home products across the board.

Dubbed “Project Connected Home over IP,” (PCHIP) the program calls for a new internet protocol that makes it easier for smart home products of different brands to communicate with one another. This is similar to how all routers follow a common standard of wireless communication, regardless of manufacturer.

When buying smart technology, consumers currently have to check the packaging of the products to make sure they work with their existing smart home setup. With PCHIP, they’ll no longer need to as products will be compatible right out of the box.

Related: Best smart speakers on sale right now.

No target date is set in regards to official product launches and developer material, but the group is planning on a draft specification and early open-source content in the later half of 2020. Beyond that, the tech companies involved are staying tight-lipped.

How will this change my existing smart home products?

Your existing smart home products are expected to work just fine. From what the proposal seems to outline, though, it seems new smart home products released after the standard goes live will work with whatever setup anyone has.

The group of companies is apparently tackling safety and security products for smart homes first — including locks, smoke alarms and security sensors. For those of us with existing smart home setups, it will be a relief to add some new equipment without worrying about the products not being compatible.

If you’d like to upgrade your home security, tap or click to see the top 5 smart home gadgets to keep your homes safe.

We will continue to update this story as more news on PCHIP comes to light.

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