Battle of the Titans
With the growing popularity of smart homes and home automation, three visionary major players: Amazon, Apple and Google are battling to lead the market with the introduction of groundbreaking technologies, helping to unify and control the emerging market of smart home devices.
These three players are already household names and, whether or not you realise it, are likely already laying the foundations to turn your home into a smart home.
It’s easy to see how they are doing this – just think, in the last 15 years, phone manufacturers have exiled cameras, maps, calculators, watches and flashlights to dusty boxes in lofts. Now, these three pioneers are moving forward with a new revolution – in your homes. They see your smartphone and your kettle and think ‘Well, your phone already wakes you up, it might as well put the kettle on for you, too.’ Apple, Amazon and Google are busy considering every aspect of your daily life and working out ways to make them smart, efficient and connected.
Since its inception, the internet has become an increasingly personal experience, progressing from saving favourites to memorising your browsing habits to allowing you to share your daily life from your phone. Amazon, Apple and Google have predicted that the natural progression of this trend will see people using these same devices, as well as common household devices, such as a speaker, to control and automate their home, by programming their lights to turn on automatically when their alarm goes off, setting playlists to greet them through ceiling-mounted speakers when they return home from work, and unlocking their front door from the office cafeteria to allow a delivery to be made.
While this vision has prompted some exciting developments in the home automation field, so many companies battling for space has also led to some undefined territory concerning the control, configuration and compatibility of these gadgets. Apple, Amazon and Google have sensed this need for a unifying element and now provide homeowners with the means to connect their own hardware, as well as that of other gadgets on the market, such as Samsung SmartThings and Philips Hue wireless LED lighting.
Amazon’s solution is an AI assistant called Alexa, who can be summoned by calling her name. Alexa is introduced via the Amazon Echo speaker. Thanks to Alexa, you can control your lights, switches, thermostats and audio/visual devices, with a simple vocal request.
Google have introduced the Google Pixel phone and Google Home speaker, which can be used as smart home hubs that are initiated by the commands ‘OK, Google’ or ‘Hey, Google’. Like Alexa, the Google AI assistant will answer your questions, play music, stream video, and control temperature and lighting, giving you the reigns to every aspect of your home.
Apple’s Siri is a well-known AI assistant that can now be linked to the HomeKit app on the iPhone. Unlike Amazon and Google, Apple haven’t manufactured a standalone hub; rather, it has incorporated it into the iPhone. This app is compatible with over 50 brands to date, enabling users to control lights, locks, thermostats, window blinds, security systems, garage doors, humidifiers, fans, power points, cameras, doorbells, air purifiers, air conditioners and sensors. Product compatibility will be indicated by a ‘Works with Apple HomeKit’ logo.
New gadgets that redefine the limits of home automation are introduced on an almost daily basis. The three titans discussed above are still only testing their systems in these changing waters and the industry standards are far from being defined. This is where TechHom comes into play, with its on-the-pulse knowledge of the best gadgets and systems on the market, understanding of industry trends and ability to cherry pick the best products on the market.
TechHom will understand your needs and hopes, and create the bespoke smart home of your dreams, incorporating a range of features that improve the comfort, cost and security of your everyday life.