Stephen Nellis for Reuters: In less than a year, Amazon's combination of the Echo speaker system and the Alexa voice-controlled digital assistant has come close to delivering on the elusive promise of easy-to-use technology that can control gadgets in the home with a few spoken words.
Yet Amazon.com Inc's (AMZN.O) surprise success sets up a long-term battle with Apple Inc. (AAPL.O) and Alphabet Inc's Google (GOOGL.O) for primacy in the connected household. And the contours of that competition are following a classic tech industry dynamic.
Amazon is pursuing an open-systems approach that allows quick development of many features, while Apple is taking a slower route, asserting more control over the technology in order to assure security and ease-of-use.
The strategic importance of the "connected home" niche looms large: Amazon wants a way to own its customer interactions -mainly shopping online - without an Apple phone or a Google Web browser as an intermediary. Apple needs to keep the iPhone at the center of customers’ lives, and has built a whole home automation architecture, called Homekit, into its smartphone. Cont'd...
Chase Martin for IoT Daily: When it comes to smart home devices, consumers seem to be open to sharing control and data if it means saving money.
U.S. homeowners are interested in measuring and monitoring activities in the home, especially energy usage, and would share their data to receive a discount, according to new research from Parks Associates.
More than a third (36%) of households said the idea of a system that monitors or manages energy usage in their home is very appealing.
Slightly more (37%) said a security monitoring system is very appealing and almost as many (35%) said the same about a safety monitoring system, according to Parks Associates. Cont'd...
Bruce Brown from DigitalTrends: Meet the new brand, same as the old brands. Sears Holdings, the U.S. holding company that owns the Sears and Kmart retail chains, has repurposed and combined three of its best-known product names - Kenmore, Craftsman, and DieHard - into the new KCD brand for connected products, according to Twice.
KCD president Tom Park pushed the focus on smart homes as a way to not only participate in the connected space market but bring to the relatively new market two elements he sees as missing: trust and reliability. Kenmore appliances bring a full century of history. Craftsman tools are known for their guaranteed durability and lifetime warranties. DieHard batteries have helped start automotive products for more than 50 years. Cont'd...
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