Higgns is a new Amazon Fire TV app, released today, that can control smart devices on your local network across a variety of manufacturers. The app works with internet-of-things smart products using the AllJoyn software framework, which is an open-source protocal that lets different devices communicate with one another. Unlike proprietary protocols like Belkin’s WeMo or Philip’s Hue products, AllJoyn is open to all manufacturers, with support from big names like Sony, Panasonic, and Microsoft, down to small startups. The other advantage of the AllJoyn protocol is that it doesn’t need to connect to the internet and can control devices solely on your local network, which reduces latency and improves security.
The Higgns app running on your Fire TV will act as a hub conducting actions between connected smart devices. You set up scenes within the app, which are a collection of devices that will interact with each other. Then you create stories, which are a set of actions that will occur based on a specific trigger. For example, you can create an “I’m Home” story which turns on lights and music. You can trigger the story using your Fire TV or even a wall mounted smart switch.
The number of compatible devices is small now but growing fast. The Allseen Alliance behind the AllJoyn protocol is relatively new, but is backed by a lot of big names in consumer electronics, so they’re ones to keep an eye on.