Opening the Smart Home technology stack

If you’ve worked on smart home or home automation products since year 2000 you’ve probably seen a few ups and downs in market awareness and the most recent up, helped immensely by the IoT (a cooler name for M2M for early investors into machine-machine communication) emergence seems to be growing real wings which is encouraging for all – a rising tide will lift all.

Many people and companies have invested heavily and contributed immensely prior to 2000 but this is from my experience after Y2K.  The potential market is massive so there will be a shortage of innovation and competition in the right sectors as opposed to too much competition – consumers need to have choice.

When we built EyeOnHome in the 2002-2004 time frame the home automation market was a niche market dominated by a few large software and hardware vendors.  The providers built great and envelope-expanding products, for the most part and to protect their business they formed partnerships and created their own technology platforms which worked with selected standards.

Fast forward to 2014 and beyond with the advent of Nest, Dropcam, Lowes and a host of other companies are innovating in a big way and it’s great to see.  Problem is, pretty much everyone is still building their own ecosystems where home owners and customers are tied to a manufacturer for adding and changing devices, services or features.  This is the same old business model and is good FOR THE BUSINESS, but not good for customers.

The EyeOnHome motto and goal was to provide an “open” ecosystem where any “open” device could be plugged in by the home owner without having to change a hub, software, host, or standard.  In order to achieve this we worked on open standards of HTTP and Wifi, no propriatary standards or technology – unless it’s in the device hardware which is fine.  This is why we created the Unified Gateway!

So we had the EyeOnHome project cotton-balled for a few year busy with other projects and REALLY hoping someone else would do a better job of opening up the smart home stash to benefit the “customers”. Unfortunately this is not happening (let me know if wrong).  So we’re working on a redesign and rebrand of the site and tools and hope to release it to the public in the next few months.

I’d love to hear from others who are passionate about the same “unified and open” experience we are dreaming of.

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