The only way to save the smart home hub is to kill it

David Priest for CNet:  Five years ago, off-the-shelf smart home hubs were the hottest new automation technology. These devices plugged into routers and translated the wireless signals of countless smart home gadgets into a communication protocol phones could understand. Put simply, they were the glue that would let users easily build a DIY smart home.

But what many hailed as the future of home automation soon faltered. Through a series of buyouts and bankruptcies, the market presence of off-the-shelf hubs began to dwindle. The final catalyst of the hub's destruction was the Amazon Echo, the first Bluetooth speaker to make the smart home truly accessible using voice control.

A few hubs are still hanging on thanks to a small number of fierce loyalists and a niche appeal that no competitor has matched yet. But time is running out. Soon standalone hubs won't be viable products. But it turns out, killing the hub might be the only way to save it.  Full Article:

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