Partnerships Critical to Connected Home Success

“The audience as well as the panelists agreed that partnerships were critical to success in the connected home,” according to Tom Kerber Director of Research for Parks Associates. He was referring to the panel he moderated at the 2015 CONNECTIONS™ Conference and how different skill sets will be required to manage and create the best consumer experience. As was pointed out, this may mean working with potential competitors, but, as panelist Adam Meyer of Time-Warner suggested, that, to grow the market and compete in the future, it is necessary to work together today.

Kerber believes there is an opportunity for new business models, where revenue streams might come from different verticals; verticals that will require working with other organizations in different industries. Kerber points out that timing is a challenge, as it is a challenge for the various entities not to get bogged down in negotiations in a still evolving market with fluid business models.

[Chris Boross, president of the Thread Group and Technical Product Marketing Manager of Nest Labs (Google-owned), was one of the panelists on the Kerber moderated panel. Yesterday, the Thread Group released their mesh-radio (2.4 GHz 802.15.4), low-power (think AA battery life of >1 year for a sensor), residential Internet of Things protocol (PDF).

This self-forming home network includes border routers to allow communications to existing WiFi and Ethernet networks, while the mesh configuration provides a robust network between devices. With backers that include industry heavyweights such as Google (Nest Labs), Qualcomm and Samsung, this standard, which expects to have certified products by the end of the year, could go a long ways towards removing the compatibility friction that complicates creating a connected home.