CHIP smarthome devices: Project CHIP should be the next big breakthrough for smarthome. During a webinar of the ZigBee Alliance It was announced that manufacturers participating in the project will be able to certify their own smart home devices to the new standard later this year. Project CHIP stands for Project Connected Home over IP.
All well and good, but what exactly is Project CHIP? In 2019, Apple, Google and Amazon joined forces with the ZigBee Alliance to discuss a new protocol. This new protocol should ensure safe, reliable and easy-to-use smart home products that connect seamlessly. Project CHIP is based on three wireless technologies namely Thread, Bluetooth LE and WiFi. Thread provides the internal communication between the connected devices. It creates a mesh network of all connected devices. And very easy, because you don’t need a separate hub for it. Bluetooth takes care of the installation and WiFi is only necessary in situations where a lot of bandwidth is required.
Old products can also be made compatible with CHIP smarthome devices
The first steps for Thread have now been taken. The HomePod Mini, Nest Hub 2 and some products from Eve and Nanoleaf are (or will be) already compatible with the new protocol. It should be relatively easy for manufacturers to make older products compatible with Thread. Thread can become active via a firmware update, provided the products support the 802.15.4 protocol (the basis of ZigBee). If so, an update can provide Thread support.
When superpowers such as Apple, Google and Amazon partner with the ZigBee Alliance (with 168 affiliated companies), then you know that we may be on the eve of a new standard. The first products are to be certified and marketed later this year.