State of smart homes extremely deplorable




Shane Dyer is surrounded by dozens of household appliances, which made the same dozen companies. In his hand – a smartphone that is running a cute application that can manage each of these subjects. It can be switched on and off multiple bulbs, communicate with smoke detector, and even change the temperature in the refrigerator. This beautiful presentation utopian smart home that can only be born in an elaborate world.

But this utopia sits smiling Dyer

“We are at the beginning, watching how the connection.”

As CEO Arrayent, one of a small group of companies that are engaged in connecting applications to smart home, Dyer is one of the people who can now crank up this magic trick with the connection. Looks the part is easy, but it’s actually incredibly far from the most dedicated homeowners right now. The Verge talked to Shane Dyer personally and found the condition of the industry smart homes today.

Creators of home appliances foresaw the coming of smart homes for several years, but they still continue to go stumbling forward , slowing each other in the process.

What classic smart home today? This is a collection of home appliances and devices that offer enhanced functionality, but will not work together, if you are unlucky enough to buy them from a single source – such as a refrigerator Samsung, plate Samsung, Samsung washing machine and dryer Samsung.


What is smart? The only thing to smart home – a single way of organizing technology, a standard that will combine technology, laptops and the Internet. Creating such an organization is extremely challenging. And agreement was the point of that stumbled most manufacturers worldwide.

Now there are two standards that are at the forefront of standardization and connectivity at home: ZigBee and Z-Wave. Both standards are built on the same wireless technologies and both include language that allows devices to work with the same information – such as heat or light. But despite the fact that each of these technologies has hundreds of products that support it, very few of the largest manufacturers of consumer electronics and agree with its methods. And smart home will not be until the biggest names will be written language standardized technologies.

Unfortunately, there is no indication that this will happen soon, and some of the top figures in the area do not believe that one day everyone will fill one standard.

“I do not believe,” – says Mark Walters. – “The truth is, I do not believe.”

Walters is Chairman of Z-Wave Alliance, the organization that oversees the protocol Z-Wave. Product Z-Wave – a great choice for the home. It is assumed that each of the devices will communicate with each other. But producers nachhat: incompatible devices around the world and are not opened yet truly for everyone.

Unlike Wi-Fi, Z-Wave – this proprietary system made by one company and licensed, which means that there is money, which will be built on success. Now, apart from that, it says that the Z-Wave will be hard to control how devices communicate with one another to ensure proper progress of the case, but ultimately it will allow Z-Wave keep prices high and to control other products. Walters says that proprietary does not really matter.

Of course, the biggest rival Z-Wave completely disagree. Marketing Director ZigBee Alliance, an organization that oversees the development of standard ZigBee, not even counting Z-Wave true competitor due to the proprietary system. And CEO ZigBee Tobin Richardson believes that ultimately win a single standard for smart home systems.


“Imagine that you have a lot of different approaches and protocols” – Richardson says, alluding to the consolidation, similar to that established protocols Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. – “I think we will see uniting around a single standard.” Of course, Richardson believes that it will be ZigBee.

However, ZigBee some problems. Now not all products ZigBee can communicate with each other, and it became a serious problem for what might be called a standard. ZigBee Alliance is working on this problem, and Richardson believes that they are close to a solution. “For the most part, ZigBee compatible device,” – he says. The ZigBee standard was developed ten years, and during this time different possibilities grows, becoming even sometimes cumbersome. In the process of advancing the standard will evolve and adapt, which will lead to even greater compatibility.

Richardson expressed optimistic views on the smart home and the ZigBee Alliance. He says that we are at a tipping point. Adoption of connected devices has so far been slow, partly because they were few, and also because with them it was very difficult to work with. “They were dirty and become clearer.” In 2014 there will be more devices with enhanced compatibility, but ZigBee waiting a long way to go before the standard to get rid of fragmentation. Richardson calls himself a period of 18 to 36 months.

However, there are other problems with the adoption. Although the light bulb using ZigBee easily turn on and off, to convince LG or Samsung use standard ZigBee – and allow them to talk technology with competitors – will take much more time.

Appliance manufacturers would not mind having more control over standards. Samsung recently announced the creation of their own language, while Ciscon, LG and other tehnogigantov consortium announced the creation of another language that can connect to Wi-Fi, ZigBee, and other networks. But no real progress is not.

“The real barrier is the interconnectedness” – said the director of marketing for LG David Vandervaal. Already, LG smart applications can communicate only with other applications c LG. From this gradually began to leave, allowing applications to connect an alternative, but it is a tiny step forward. “It happens,” – says Vandervaal. – “How does it happen – is another question.”


It may take years, and smart home will be under control small services that connect all of these applications together. A number of such services jumped lately, and they all show what can be a beautiful house connected. Comcast, Verizon, Timer Warner Cable, AT & T and other network providers are hoping to move into a new home automation services category. Each of them sells prearranged set of lights, cameras and thermostats, and they all work together, in addition, they will be happy to watch your home for only $ 40 a month. But the idea of ​​having consumers subscription does not particularly enjoy.

One of the most elegant solution is the Smart Things, which sells 100-dollar hub that can “communicate” with appliances running Z-Wave, ZigBee and Wi-Fi. Once the devices are connected wirelessly, Smart Things makes them all available online in surveillance application on your phone.

“To some extent we can make minor standards for users,” – says CEO Smart Things Alex Hawkinson. Hawkinson suggests that eventually overtake ZigBee Z-Wave – both because of the open nature, and because it works in a greater range, but also believes that Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Low Energy will play a vital role in the intelligent Housing. All of these standards have strengths.

Arrayent offers another consolidation service, but not so open. Arrayent can help sellers to collect a set of applications that they want to see as a package, and then get them all to communicate. Arrayent sees the world standards agnostic, which allows devices to communicate with each other to the extent that they are connected to the Internet hub. “It’s easier to innovate in the cloud than monolithic boost standards”, – says Dyer.

In fact, the importance of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for the majority of smart, stylish and affordable devices today – from thermostats to smart locks Nest August – suggests that Dyer and Hawkinson may be right with his multi-standard approach: foods that boost the acceptance of the idea of smart home do not use standards. Many of these devices work with their own cloud services, and it might be compatible. Perhaps, Google with its acquisition Nest is also looking in this direction.

Home automation still is not porridge – as, indeed, the last ten years. The only thing that distinguishes today’s buyers buyers from a decade ago – they buy wireless products such as Nest, Sonos and Philips Hue. And after a while everyone will start to think about the ‘what if, when I get home from work, heat, light, and music will be included on their own? “. We are already building smart homes in parts, but are still waiting for someone who will bring a whole system.
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Tags: LG , Samsung , Smart houses .

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