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The smart home is the next battleground: What to expect from the top 3 tech companies?

8 June 2014, 8:16 am EDT By Vamien McKalin Tech Times
The battle for our living rooms is still ongoing, but the battle for our entire home is about to begin. The smart home is clearly the future, and it is closer than you think.  ( Tech Times )

With Google, Microsoft, and Apple getting involved in home automation, it is clear that this will be the next battleground, and at the moment no one truly has the upper hand.

The connected home in its current form is far from perfect, but with this new focus from some of the top tech companies, things are poised to change quickly.

We're going to take a look at what Google, Microsoft, and Apple currently offer in the connected home space, and what could happen in the coming years. Be excited, because home automation is going to get a new lease on life.

Google and Nest

Google recently acquired Nest for nearly $3.2 billion, and rumors have it that the search company is prepared to acquire Dropcam through Nest for an undisclosed sum. This is a clear sign that Google is gearing up to have a huge presence in the connected home market where its services could rule supreme.

With Dropcam under its wings, we could see Google becoming the center of your home security. Imagine being able to gain access to the security camera in your home from Google+ or any other Google-related services.

In the future, we expect Google to use Nest to expand into connected appliances and lighting, among other things that could bring your home under a central hub that is controlled by the Google backend.

Microsoft and Insteon

Microsoft announced a recent partnership with connected home leader, Insteon. Microsoft worked with the company to provide Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 users with an Insteon app that is functional when compared with the Android and iOS counterparts. Furthermore, Insteon products will also be available in Microsoft stores across the United States, and on its online store.

This is a key partnership for Microsoft, one that could one day push the software company to acquire Insteon to keep Google at bay. We could also see Insteon choosing to use Microsoft's Azure cloud service and Bing to help power future smart devices.

With the Insteon partnership, Microsoft has a slight advantage since Insteon is the largest company in connected home market with various home automation products available. It all depends on how Microsoft plans to proceed in the coming months.

Apple and HomeKit

As it stands, it would appear if Apple has no intention of getting into the connected home directly with its own hardware. The new HomeKit app that is available in iOS 8 is designed to make it easier for iPhone and iPad users to control their home from a single app, without the need of using several different ones. Furthermore, HomeKit is also designed to be easier to use when compared with most of the connected home apps available right now.

At the end of the day, it is up to companies if they want to implement their services into HomeKit, and we don't see why they wouldn't.

All in all, we're just at the tip of the iceberg where home automation is concerned, but we're certain this market is going become exciting in the coming years. As for which company will lead the way, we can't say just yet, but at the moment it would seem Google is taking this more seriously.

 

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