Ben Bajarin: ‘We have hit peak smart home’

January 10, 2019 by Steven M. Peters

A seasoned observer’s thousand-foot view of CES 2019.

 

From Bajarin’s Industry Shaping Trends That Emerged from CES, posted Thursday on TechPinions ($)

Well, we have hit it. It is inevitable everything will be connected, and everything will connect to the smart assistant of your choice, and that should no longer surprise us. We have hit peak smart home. Which is great because we can move past the initial work of connecting everything and start to focus on making all these things work together.

The biggest hurdle standing in the way of the smart home was connectivity standards. In that equation, the interface was still a challenge because each brand/appliance had its app and to control a smart home appliance was still several clicks deep in your smartphone. Voice assistants brought that to a single voice command away, and now we are off in the running. While some underlying connected standards have emerged, the most important standard now being supported by all smart home products is Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri/HomeKit.

I have no doubt in my mind the smart assistant market is not a winner take all market. And after talking with Google, Amazon, and Apple about this as well, all three seem to agree. The belief is consumers have the intelligence to interact with each assistant for what they do best, and will use each accordingly. This is relevant because it seems that supporting all three assistants will be table stakes to compete for any company looking to make “smart” products. I put smart in quotes because none of these are smart yet. Hopefully, AI will be the component that takes all this technology from just being connected to smart, but even the AI being used now is rudimentary. We still have a long way to go.

My take: Apple is lucky to have made the cut.