Smarthome Inter-operability, A Rocky Road Ahead.

Published: Tue, 28 Jul 2015

The Smarthome has had its fits and starts. It's support among retailers, vendors and the media has been nothing short of impressive. Yet on the consumer front anyone beyond the early adopters remains skeptical. A case in point is a recent panel moderated by Michael Wolf of the Smart Home Weekly. One of the panel members said it best: "the vast majority of consumers don't go to buy a 'smart home'. Instead they're trying to solve for needs like monitoring a dog while away from home, being able to water their grass more efficiently through intelligent connected irrigation systems, and so on". And let's not forget home security systems, which top that list of these point solutions according to some studies. In our minds the real question for the Smarthome is how it will evolve from a starting point that consists of an assembly of point solutions that aren't initially designed to work together. The logical assumption is that HomeKit and/or Brilla are the ideal tools to make that happen. But as with all interoperability initiatives, the devil is in the details. Take for example HomeKit's recent announcement that they won't support Bluetooth because it isn't deemed secure enough. On the one hand, this stand is commendable, and something Apple has done before - flexing its marketing muscle to accelerate consumers toward an inevitable conclusion (remember Steve Jobs insistence that computers don't need CDs because everything will be accessible over the internet?). At Korner, with our robust security infrastructure and use of more secure Zigbee, we certainly don't have an issue with this position. But why can't consumers make this decision for themselves? This one decision likely compromises HomeKit's capacity to bring the Smarthome world together by as much as 25%. And it doesn't stop there. To add to the obstacles to HomeKit's path to being the glue for the Smarthome, Apple recently announced they will stop carrying Nest in their stores. And of course, as we discussed in a prior blog, a highly functioning Homekit Smarthome requires an investment in Apple TV. Korner offers an ideal starting point - a home security system with a total first year cost under $100, and you can set it up in minutes. The Smarthome will get here one day, but for now there's Korner.


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