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apple home

Recently Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPLB) said it planned to make an app called Home available to users soon. The new app would allow consumers to connect to and control all of their HomeKit-enabled smart home devices from an iPad, iPhone or even Apple watch.

Home is designed to control everything from doorbells to locks, thermostats, lights, humidifiers, entertainment systems and more. Eventually Siri will be able to tweak settings through voice commands.


Does Anyone Care?

One important issue is the fact that consumers are not buying into IoT devices quite like tech companies like Apple thought they would.

Accenture conducted a survey that found nearly 50% of consumers have serious security questions about smart home devices and 25% have deliberately put off buying an IoT device or service. Moreover, only 35% of North American households use them now, according to Berg Insight.

Reasons To Persevere

Apple appears to want to be positioned to compete with Samsung’s SmartThings, Amazon.com’s (NASDAQ:AMZND) Alexa and Echo and Alphabet Inc.’s (NASDAQ:GOOGC) Google Brillo and Weave.

More importantly, according to some experts, Apple wants in on the action and to know what consumers want and what they do not want so they can pounce when the time is right.

Samsung SmartThings

Apple isn’t the only company interested in the Internet of Things. Samsung has aggressively pushed IoT and has now said it plans to spend $1.2 billion over the next 4 years.

Samsung’s approach via its SmartThings platform is to take a human-centered approach. In other words, if the devices do not improve a person’s life, he or she will not adopt it. Potential areas of involvement include healthcare, electronics and a variety of other sectors.

Samsung has said it planned to partner with Intel Corp. (NASDAQ:INTCB) and others to help develop a national I0T strategy in order to accomplish its goals.

Amazon Alexa & Echo

Amazon has one thing in spades others do not – consumer trust. The company has spent so much time and so much effort doing what it says it will do that consumer believe anything Amazon offers will be reliable and useful.

Alexa outshines Siri by most accounts – another feather in Amazon’s cap and the combination of Echo and Alexa provides a constantly listening responsive device that doesn’t even seem to bother consumers when it comes to security concerns.

Although the Alexa/Echo combination is in its infancy, the hands-free potential has fans excited about having an “assistant” to help with lots of mundane everyday tasks.


Google Brillo And Weave

For those not in the loop, Google’s Brillo is the OS, Weave enables setup and communications. Companies are moving quickly to use the Brillo and Weave platform to connect their products in your home.

LG Electronics is a strategic partner as is Harmon, which said it would support various device manufacturers for applications. Asus has a smart home bridge built on Brillo, as well as a full lineup of smart home products.

Others, including lock-maker Kwikset and Marvell Technology Group (NASDAQ:MRVLA) have also announced support the Google’s IoT platform.

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