The race to control the smart home

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06/19/2019

The battle for the smart home has raged on for quite some time now, with the big players like Amazon, Google and Apple making major plays to dominate the space. But, with the smart home market flooded with a ton of IoT devices — and many more to come — the new race is to see who will come up with the go-to platform to make all of these devices work in perfect harmony … I can dream, can’t I?

A new Parks Associates research report — Race to Control the Smart Home Ecosystem: Attracting Partners — looks at this dilemma, and finds that adoption of connected point solutions and the advent of smart speakers will drive demand for platforms to coordinate and centralize control of smart home products and capabilities in U.S. households. The report reviews the strategies of major smart home platforms in the consumer electronics and security industries and their approach to attracting manufacturers to their ecosystem.

"The percentage of U.S. broadband households highly familiar with smart home platforms increased across all platforms from the end of 2017 to the end of 2018," Chris O'Dell, research associate, Parks Associates, said in the announcement. "Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant saw the biggest jumps of all listed platforms, so voice control is a key factor in driving consumer interest in the smart home and the adoption of multiple devices per household."

The report states that as device adoption continues to increase each year, smart home platforms will help establish order out of the chaos that comes from the steady influx of connected devices in consumers' homes. According to Parks Associates research, 28 percent of US broadband households now own at least one smart home device, and device-owning households own an average of six devices in their home.

"Companies competing in the smart home ecosystem can leverage platforms to provide a reliable, interoperable ecosystem with a simplified user experience and deliver expanded value through enhanced features such as cloud intelligence and data privacy and security," O'Dell said.

When implementing a smart home ecosystem in their home, consumers care less about name brands of key devices and more about a seamless experience where all devices in the ecosystem work together smoothly, Parks found, noting: “Consumer preferences favor vertically aligned players, such as Comcast and Vivint Smart Home, which have introduced their own branded devices to optimize the experience on their platforms while also maximizing profits.”

Additional questions addressed in the report include:
•    Who are the major smart home ecosystem players by category?
•    How is the rise of voice-first control platforms affecting smart home ecosystems?
•    How can smart home ecosystems help the smart home industry overcome interoperability issues and concerns?
•    What are the smart home platform strategies of the leading CE and security industry players?
•    What approach are these companies taking to attract manufacturers to their ecosystem?

For the complete report, click here.

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