Is your automated home a Mac or a PC?

January 13, 2014 — Leave a comment

nestAs Google buys Nest today, it increases the pressure for consumers to decide what type of operating system they want their home to run. And what types of off-the-shelf and add-on devices they should buy.

Is your connected home a Mac or a PC? Apple or Android? The internet of things works best when the things can talk to each other, and that requires a consolidated operating system.

I specifically was giving a home security company a bad time about this at CES last week. I want my furnace, smoke detector, security system, Dropcam, doorbell, refrigerator, oven, phone, cable and internet provider to all speak to each other.

But right now I’m locked into contracts with a handful of service providers who do not sell the best and most innovative connected home products. And of course, they don’t talk to each other. Because that’s not something expected, until recently.

The new situation is quite literally the Mac vs. PC and Apple vs. Android wars, except this time the battle has moved from laptops and phones to your home.

The dominant players will not necessarily be first to market, but instead disrupt traditional thinking and look to scoop up the innovators who are solving problems outside the legacy infrastructure and bureaucracy that has held back the legacy home product companies.

Naysayers will point out that an internet outage will create new headaches and hurdles for connected home users. And they’re correct. And that won’t stop consumers from installing value-adding technology to their home.

Kudos to Nest and Google. Now where’s my tweeting ice maker?

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