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Why the Connected Home Vision is Failing

by User Not Found | Sep 19, 2013

I recently posted the following comments on an analyst forum:


The connected home vision is failing because of classic standards v. competition barriers. What may be in consumers' interests (single platform, open standards) is not being delivered by vendors and service providers who want to grab as much territory for themselves as they can.

The other dynamic is retail v. service provider: the fact is many consumers will be happy to pay for someone to manage this stuff - SPs just have to work out what they want and which model works, not that that's easy... But in the meantime consumers are putting together their own systems off the shelf, hence the confusion and complexity.

The home networking challenge in my view is something of a myth. Techies always talk about the best solution, while consumers just get on with what works. Right now that's WiFi/cellular, with a little bit of coax/Ethernet thrown in. There's no reason why the "home network" should ever need to migrate to a single connectivity standard.

I've followed this for 25 years and I can't say the vision of seamless interoperability will be realised in another 25. But progress is being made, building on the growth of semi-smart devices like phones and PCs. It's a story of continued fragmentation rather than unification, but that doesn't mean consumers won't get access to a growing range of new smart home capabilities in the near to medium term - that's clearly already starting to happen.

David Mercer

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