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Apple Inc., Alphabet Inc.'s Google and Amazon.com Inc. - three of the biggest smart-home and voice-assistant providers - are joining forces to make internet-connected homes easier to set up and safer to use.
The rivals announced Wednesday that they're working with the Zigbee Alliance, a foundation that promotes standards for the Internet of Things, and its members including Samsung Electronics Co., Somfy SA, and IKEA, on a new standard that will ensure their products work with each other.
While an increasing portion of the home can now be controlled by a voice-activated speaker or remote app, from thermostats to lights and even refrigerators, "the lack of an industry-wide connectivity standard leaves people confused and frustrated when trying to understand what devices work with each smart home ecosystem," Nik Sathe and Grant Erickson, engineers at Google's Nest unit, wrote in a statement. "It also places a heavy burden on manufacturers to make sure all devices are compatible with each other."
 
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