Thursday, May 29, 2014

News ReCap: Home Land. From Apple to ZigBee, the smart home is smokin' hot.

[Key trends: the smart home | the internet of things]

"The smart home is just around the corner." Many of us first heard that back in the year 2000. But now we really are about to arrive.

If you're looking for the sizzling hot trend courant, sit back and relax, and don't leave home, because you're soaking in it. No, this stuff never happens overnight. From Microsoft and Samsung to Sony and Cisco, every influential IT and CE vendor worth their popcorn salt had mega stands at all the mega shows, demonstrating their vision of the connected home of the future.

And the future is almost now. Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Google, Samsung, Qualcomm, Cisco, Belkin and many other are getting ready for the beyond-the-PC world. Objects are connected, they learn, the improve, they are really rather smart and helpful.

So, the news this week is full of hints and hot rumors of moves for the living room. Microsoft may be about to rollout a ChromeCast-like device. Apple is preparing a smart-home platform. LG and Samsung are now in the connected light bulb business. (I'll write another post about ReCap's new Smart Bulb report with forecasts to 2019. Thanks for the input on that one.) Let's not forget the service providers: AT&T, Verizon, your local cable guys, your power company, and security firms.

Trends this big require a generation shift to be absorbed. A decade or two to work out the kinks. And a few spec battles just to make things interesting. As is usually the case in new markets, there has been first-mover advantage at home. But now it's looking like it's time to move in for real. Find your place or prepare to be locked out.

Welcome home. Goji Smart Lock.

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