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ABB, Bosch, Cisco and LG pledge to simplify the smart home

James McGrath 5 November 2013
ABB, Bosch, Cisco and LG pledge to simplify the smart home

Four leading technology companies, ABB, Bosch, Cisco, and LG, have set out their intentions in creating cross-platform open architecture software for smart homes.

The consortium has signed a memorandum as part of plans, which are still subject to approval by the antitrust authorities that would allow diverse devices and services to interoperate, and to exchange information with each other. The intention is to enable appliances and devices made by different manufacturers to be part of home automation, security, healthcare, and entertainment services – providing a common platform that is yet to be made available.

Under the standards that the consortium intends to establish – and that would be available to all manufacturers – appliances would be connected to a home gateway, which itself would be connected to the internet and a software platform.

Once these open standards have been developed, the parties’ aim is that these compatible appliances will communicate with each other over radio networks such as WiFi, ZigBee, and other wired connections like KNX. A central control unit in the building would manage all the individual appliances, and also create a secure internet link.

Everything from light switches and motorised roller blinds, to washing machines, multimedia equipment and smartphones would be able to communicate with each other or to simply exchange information over the internet in a standardised way.

Manufacturers, software developers and services providers will all have the opportunity to come onboard should the plans progress to further stages, potentially uniting diverse services in areas such as energy management, security technology, and convenience and consumer electronics.

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