CES 2016: LG And Samsung battle for smart home leadership

By ROB ENDERLE for TechSpective:  LG and Samsung are planning to do battle for control of your home at CES. Samsung is bringing its acquired SmartThings technology to TVs to provide a central hub from which your home can be controlled. LG just announced it is going to showcase its Smarthome Hub at CES as well. Each idea has its merits and problems, but I think LG is closer to what we initially need than Samsung is. Let me explain.

Right now the concept of the Smart Home is a mess and it has been a mess ever since X10 went to that technology graveyard in the sky. We have a bunch of warring “standards” that don’t interoperate, mixed conformance with the standards that do exist, and the end result is that when you buy into a smart home solution, chances are you will be creating an insane stupid house that constantly doesn’t do what you paid a ton of money to get it to do.

Currently we have 4 major legacy smart home platforms: X-10 which started it all back in the 1970s but is mostly gone today, ZigBee and Z Wave which are alliances, and Insteon which is tied directly to one company. Recently a 5th joined this group called Alljoyn which was created by Qualcomm the most powerful player in the smartphone world. With smartphones becoming the most likely controller for the new smart home, there was a chance that this alliance could do what the others had not–create something that actually works.  Cont'd...

Comments (1)

I'm glad that Rob described the SmartHome problem since that market niche remains just as elusive and disjointed today as in 1957 when RCA-Whirlpool demonstrated their "Miracle Kitchen" at the World's Fair. (Watch the video at http://mhealthtalk.com/elusive-smart-home/.) It's still a DIY market and a niche for professional installation in high-end new homes, but it's far from becoming mainstream. And in my view it's downright stupid to add "smart" electronics to a refrigerator or any white-goods appliance, especially electronics that go obsolete in just a year or two. I made my own 15-year old fridge much smarter than the $4,000 Samsung smart fridge by attaching an iPad, and I can detach and use it at the kitchen counter, breakfast table, sofa, or toilet. (See http://mhealthtalk.com/smart-refrigerator/.)

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