Amazon, Apple, Google and the Zigbee Alliance are working together to develop new smart home standards, which have been launched under the name “Project Connected Home over IP, CHIP.” CHIP will enable communication between smart home devices, mobile applications, and cloud services by building Internet Protocol (IP)-based projects, and define a specific set of IP-based networking technologies for device authentication.
Why build such an IP-based project? According to the official announcement, there is no smart home open standard based on IP, which is the Protocol of the Internet and is the most commonly used network layer in our home and office. With IP, messages can be routed between networks independent of its lower physical and link layers, and there are a number of proven algorithms and infrastructure that enable routing, switching, and firewalling to be executed in a robust and flexible manner. Ip is therefore an ideal way to provide end-to-end security and privacy in communication between a device and another device, application, or service.
Many smart home devices today use proprietary protocols that require dedicated agents and converters to bind them to the home network. And if you’re built on IP, these devices may be able to connect directly to standardized network devices.
Currently, Apple’s smart home ecosystem is HomeKit; Amazon has the Works with Alexa program; and Google is turning off Works with Nest in favor of IP-based “Works with Google Assistant” ecosystem.
After CHIP went live, Apple followed suit by announcing that it had open source part of the HomeKit Accessories Development Kit (ADK), enabling developers to prototype non-commercial smart home accessories. Google also published a blog post on the security of new projects, “by leveraging proven Internet protocols, CHIP will enable direct, private, and secure end-to-end communication between devices, mobile devices, and cloud services through familiar and consistent development and programming models.”
Google also shared a pyramid map from the CHIP concept model. According to this diagram, the network will only use IPv6 and iPv4 will not be supported.
The CHIP team’s website provides a more detailed description of some common questions and answers, see: https://www.connectedhomeip.com/.