Apple, Amazon and Google unite to help create a universal smart home standard

The working group aims to make smart home devices easier to use together.

Smart home devices are a godsend for the busy, the disorganized and the plain ol' lazy, but getting them up and running can still be a complicated pain in the backside. Some products work with others while others only work in specific ecosystems, so even deciding which devices to go for in the first place can be a hassle. But now, three of the biggest names in smart home tech are working together to simplify matters.

Google, Amazon and Apple (plus others) have created Connected Home Over IP, a new working group managed by the Zigbee Alliance, which aims to develop a new, open smart home connectivity standard based on Internet Protocol (IP). For consumers, this will mean that stuff just works together, but it'll be a boon for developers, too, as a universal standard streamlines product development and reduces costs by giving them a blueprint for their products.

The other Zigbee Alliance board member companies include IKEA, Samsung SmartThings and Signify (the new name for Philips Lighting). They're all on board to help develop the "royalty-free connectivity standard."

The group hasn't revealed any roadmaps or timelines, although major developments will be announced as and when they happen. The important thing is that three of the smart home industry's major players are now working from the same page, which will help integrate smart home tech even deeper in to everyday life.