Thursday, July 3, 2014

Tech companies race to bring more apps for the home

Technology companies are in a race to get inside your walls and fixtures.
We’re already walking around with apps for mobile banking and shopping, navigation, video editing and most other things we want to do.
The next step, the way technology companies see it, is to give us apps to control what happens at home. Switches for lights and door locks are just the beginning. Here’s what’s brewing:

  • Wink, formerly a software subsidiary of Quirky, is planning a home automation platform that will be available through Home Depot. The goal is a product that brings together numerous “smart” devices and wireless protocols (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, etc.).
  • Nest Labs is partnering with outside developers. The Google-owned company wants to grow beyond its smart Nest thermostat. Mobile controls for appliances might be one outcome.
  • Microsoft has a new startup accelerator program for companies focused on home-based sensor technology, cloud services and tools for analytics. The project comes under Microsoft Ventures.
  • Apple has announced a platform called HomeKit. It would allow users to discover and control all kinds of home automation devices using a smartphone or tablet.

It won’t be long before Siri is telling the toaster how to cook your bread and whistling for the teapot.

Karen’s blog:; on Twitter @sullivan_kms


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