At the recently completed Mobile World Congress, a panel titled “Connected Home: A proving ground for the Internet of Things” was organized by FierceWireless. The key message that came out of the panel was somewhat dispiriting for those championing the connected home as an eventual key aspect of IoT: most of the big players in the space today are arguing over standards and infrastructure, rather than making the technology easy to install and use for consumers. Typical of this view was Alex Hawkinson, CEO of SmartThings: “(SmartThings struggles with) creating experiences that are simple … How do you retain openness and drill down and make it accessible to consumers?”
Conflicting standards like the Open Interconnect Consortium, the AllSeen Alliance, and Thread only serve to sow confusion among consumers, hindering progress. And while the shakeout continues and companies slowly align themselves with one standard or another, more questions arise. One of the most important ones has to do with security: it’s estimated that a well-connected home will generate up to 1000 connected home events (notifications, state changes, images, etc.) per day. What will the industry do with all of that data, and how safely will it be kept from prying eyes? A satisfactory answer has yet to be offered by any of the industry stalwarts.