As many readers know, the smart kitchen has intrigued me for some time, so I was a little surprised to see this piece from Times of India this weekend. According to the Times, Google is developing an IoT platform focused specifically on white goods and the connected kitchen. While the piece is fairly scant on details (particularly who its source was for this news), such a move by Google is an intriguing one to consider.
"The platform will initially focus on connected kitchens, hooking up things like refrigerators, washing machines and toasters to talk to your phone and with each other."
Now, there are more than a few reasons to be skeptical beyond the thin sourcing, but the main one is this: If we're talking about a consumer-centric IoT platform for the home from Google, shouldn't that be Nest? I could understand Nest extending to the kitchen, but to create a wholly new platform centered around the kitchen and appliances seems to be somewhat redundant.
Of course, there are specific reasons I think Google might want to consider a "branch" platform for smart home devices in the kitchen. First off, most of these devices are utilizing Bluetooth Low Energy, whereas Nest has been pushing Thread and, to a lesser extent, Wi-Fi for its smart home push. This could be an effort for them to maybe create a BLE strategy for low-power devices.
Second, Nest doesn't really seem to have a great white goods/appliance strategy. Sure, they've done an integration with Whirlpool, but beyond that the white goods and kitchen integrations appear somewhat light. Given that I expect HomeKit to have a strong appliance and kitchen story, there could be an effort here by Google to make up ground.
If there's any truth to the report, we'll find out in May, when the new "IoT platform" is said to debut.
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