The German home appliances giant Bosch und Siemens Hausgeräte (BSH) is partnering up with Worldline, a division of the French outsourcing firm Atos, for its connected home strategy, it said on Friday.
Worldline is usually a payments and transactional services operation, but it’s been increasingly getting into the internet of things as well – on Thursday, also at the Berlin tech show IFA, it announced it was joining the EEBus smart home initiative, alongside companies ranging from Bosch and Deutsche Telekom to Intel and the venerable Fraunhofer Institute.
BSH‘s smart home scheme is called Home Connect. It will let users control their appliances using smartphones and tablets through an “open standard”, Worldline said – the outfit will manage the cloud platform gluing everything together, with a claimed focus on security and privacy. Devices will connect through the user’s Wi-Fi router.
An iOS app will come out by the end of this year, followed by an Android app next year. The service will be available in Germany and Austria first.
EEBus will take part in internet-of-things standardization efforts and act as a political lobbying group. It will also make sure that members’ products can all be monitored and controlled through a single interface.
Worldline hopes to provide the tools for various players to monetize their services and apps in the EEBus ecosystem. According to a Thursday statement from Worldline mobility and e-transactional services chief:
The EEBus initiative is the most mature alliance we have found active in the standardization process of connected home and has an original approach. It is not simply yet another protocol in the home. Moreover it provides ways to interconnect to most well established protocols such as ZigBee, KNX [and] EnOcean. We believe EEBus will soon become an important connected home standard and we are happy to become their international member.
It will be interesting to see how this plays off against the heavyweight Allseen Alliance, one of the members of which is Bosch. In a recent piece of online marketing material, EEBus derided AllSeen and other initiatives for only offering “platforms through which future communication is to take place,” rather than working on the “complicated basic work” of use cases.