Amazon, Google and Apple have decided to work together to increase compatibility between 'Smart Home' products. Consumers have historically been forced to 'choose a side' due to the incompatibility of competing products (such as Apples unique operating system). Finally the Tech Giants are working together, along with Zigbee Alliance, to create a 'connectivity standard' across all Smart Home products to simplify development for manufacturers and increase the user experience.
A 'Smart Home' or 'Connected Home' is a home which utilises technology to connects appliances and devices to create a home network which can be remotely controlled and monitoring. There are obvious benefits such as turning your heating remotely on your phone before you arrive home or putting the kettle on in the morning before you get out of bed. However, with this increased convenience comes increased risk, which consumers may not be quick to ignore.
The creation of a connectivity standard between manufactures of Smart Home products will likely facilitate an increase in working Smart Homes and the development of new products. However, Smart Homes raise questions such as ''Are they secure from cyber attack?'and 'Are users personal data and privacy protected or vulnerable to misuse?'. Consumer trust at an all time low following events such as the Cambridge Analytica's farming of personal Facebook data and growing fears that devices such as Alexa are 'always listening'. Companies will have to work hard to ensure Smart Homes are secure and that data processing is transparent and legally compliant.
Maybe this alliance is the first sign of large Tech companies coming together to put the customer experience and security first, rather than driven by competition and profit? Or, maybe it is an opportunity to launch a growing area of technological development? Either way, this unexpected collaboration will make sure that Smart Homes are no longer a dream for the future, but a reality of the present.
The highly competitive tech giants Apple, Google and Amazon have announced they are teaming up in an effort to make smart home tech easier to use.