Connected Home over IP (CHIP)

Connected Home over IP (CHIP) is a royalty-free home automation connectivity project whose main goal is to ensure compatibility among different smart home and Internet of Things (IoT) products. 

It is believed that these products that will be coming later on this year will be plug-and-play kind of devices. The connected home over IP project is led by gigantic companies like Google, Apple, Amazon, and Zigbee Alliance.

What is The Purpose of The CHIP Project?

Many users over the years have been inconvenienced by the certain protocols that come with purchasing smart devices. 

Most buyers need the smart devices they purchase to work immediately without the need to set up lots of connections or confirm if the device is compatible with your home device networks such as Insteon, Zigbee, Z-Wave, or even virtual assistants such as Alexa, Siri or Google Assistant. 

This is the problem that connected home over IP (CHIP) is trying to eradicate by doing the following;

  • All the companies in participation have agreed to change their connectivity protocol to that of IoT. This means that users can plug-in and play their devices regardless of who the connection provider is. This means that it won’t matter if your device is from Apple, Google, or Amazon; you will be able to play it over any connection controlled by whichever virtual assistant. For example, with CHIP connected home over IP, you can use an Apple smart device with Alexa. It won’t be a must for you to get Siri.
  • The most important part about the CHIP project is that it is based on existing brands, which means that there is no reason to start creating a new device network to accommodate the others. The project is trying to create a universal connection that can be used for device communication enabled by Internet Protocols (IP). In simple terms, this project will be putting the Internet in the Internet of Things (IoT).
  • Another thing about the CHIP project is that it will be advancing on already mature device protocols such as Apple HomeKit, Google Weave, and Alexa Smart home. The project won’t start from scratch but rather will be all about creating necessary compatibility for all the existing device protocols to improve user experience.

Why Didn’t This Project Happen Years Ago?

Although CHIP is the right way to go for smart devices, you might be wondering why it wasn’t achieved years ago. There are several reasons for this;

Small and Inefficient Devices 

Years ago, IP-based protocols were only made for simple functionalities based on computers and mobile phones. This made it hard for them to be integrated into lights, switches, door locks, small censors, or window shades. 

These devices have some qualities that have made it hard for even the biggest telecommunication companies to attempt a project like CHIP. They include;

  • These gadgets are cheap, and like all cheap devices, they have limited functions.
  • These devices have low power that isn’t suitable for mainstream IP-based networks such as Wi-FI, Ethernet, or cellular.
  • These devices do not have a User Interface (UI) setup. The gadgets lack keypads, user experience, or even a display.

Device Network Fragmentation 

Some time back, IP networks and protocols were only limited to the bigger and more advanced devices and not the small IoT devices. 

This meant that another way had to be devised that could integrate low-power radios with non-IP protocols. This took years to be achieved until 20 years ago when Zigbee, Bluetooth, Insteon, and Z-Wave came up with the solution.

Constrained IPs 

Nowadays, if your phone is using Wi-Fi, you can switch it off, and it will automatically connect to your cellular connection (3G/4G/5G). 

This wasn’t the case years ago; there had to be a layered model that organizes networks hierarchically. These are some of the things that have made the Connected Home over IP (CHP) project possible now and not years back. 

What Will happen if The CHIP Project Succeeds?

  • Device manufacturers will start making products that enable plug-in and play without the need for complicated protocols. 
  • Buyers will be picking smart devices based on their features and efficiency and not compatibility with their systems.
  • Buyers will be able to use Siri, Google Assistant, Alexa, or any other voice assistant applications with all their gadgets.
  • Homeowners will be able to set up their home automation systems using the applications they prefer. 
  • There will be a major drop in the prices of all IoT devices. 

Final Thoughts

Even though some companies have failed to create one hub for all the device connections, CHIP is unlike any of them. This is because the project is based on proven internet principles and has received backing from some of the biggest companies on the planet. 

ICT professional, Author, Serial Internet Entrepreneur, Investor, Smart Home Enthusiast, and Creator!

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