This is the Smart Home Weekly for the week of May 18, 2015. If you want to subscribe to the newsletter to get this in your inbox, do so here.
I was in Hawaii last week checking out the scenery and some active volcanos, but it was here on the mainland where things seemed to be suddenly erupting. There were some seismic shifts on the smart home/security front with ADT and their new DIY home security appliance, the news of Samsung's turnkey smart home module and smart home cloud, as well as with the forthcoming national launch of Target's home automation store.
Not to mention there were some rumors about HomeKit being delayed, and while Apple pushed back on the report, I expect that both Stacey Higginbotham and Apple were right to a certain degree.
Lastly, next month NextMarket will launch its Smart Home Advisor service, a 8 report service and bundled advisory for those companies looking to stay in the know about where this market is going. Contact me if you want more details.
On to the analysis...
Traditional Security Leader ADT Disrupting Traditional Security Model With All-In-One Security Appliance
ADT is working with LG to create an all-in-one security/smart home appliance and will offer a no-contract security service.This is huge. Of course, I've been writing about how the security market isundergoing a slow-motion reinvention, largely because the market penetration for home security has been artificially constricted to only about a quarter of total households because the traditional security business model only works for a fairly limited number of consumers. Read More.
Target Rolling Out Dedicated Smart Home Sections Nationwide
Interesting news on the smart home retail front. Target, the second largest discount retail chain in the US, has confirmed it's finally getting into the smart home game. I first learned of the news of the national rollout of the new "connected life" section when Piper's PR team emailed select analysts and press letting us that the Piper would make be a part of Target's new program. CNET confirmed with Target, who said the rollout would cover 1800 stores and each in-store section would cover 8 feet of retail shelf space. Read More.
A Few Thoughts On HomeKit Product Timing
I was out last week so didn't get a chance to get to every piece of news on smart home, but I wanted to write a few things on the Apple HomeKit timing kerfuffle. As some of you know, my former Gigaom colleague Stacey Higginbotham wrote an exclusive for Fortune that HomeKit had been delayed until possibly August or September from what was promised to be a May or June release. Apple subsequently pushed back. The original Fortune report caused a wave of posts, and the subsequent pushback caused another wave of posts, and it was like watching a giant game of she-said/he-said. Read More.
Speculating On Zonoff and ADT
Following on to last week's news about ADT's standalone DIY security and home automation appliance, Julie Jacobson had a good piece talking about who would be the backend provider for the system. She speculates that it could be Zonoff, and I think she's probably on to something. The bigger question may ultimately be if whether Zonoff is also going to insert itself as the home automation cloud for ADT's Pulse service, and I think there's also a good chance there might be some truth to that as well. Read More.
Samsung & SmartThings Announce Turnkey Smart Home/IoT Platform For Manufacturers
Yesterday at IoT World, Samsung's President Young Sohn and SmartThings CEO Alex Hawkinson got on stage to talk about Samsung's new Artik chip family and the SmartThings open cloud. We had known that Samsung was launching a new set of chips/modules targeted towards IoT applications, but it was good to see the company shed some more light on its plans for SmartThings as well. Samsung's made it no secret of its plans to extend the SmartThings platform further by integrating with a variety of home appliances, but it was easy to assume at the time much of this talk was around Samsung's own line of appliances. Read more.
Comcast Just Launched Its Own Smart Home Platform: Why This Is Not Surprising
Comcast just launched its own smart home and IoT platform. This may sound bad for Icontrol because, well, it is bad for Icontrol. The two companies are doing their best to make it sound like this is just business as usual, point to how many of the legacy smart home products will connect through Icontrol and the two companies will continue to work together with Icontrol being the underlying platform for Comcast's Xfinity security offering, but there's no two ways to spin it: Long term this looks like a direct replacement for Icontrol on the smart home side. Read more.
That's it for this week. As always, subscribe to the newsletter if you want to get the analysis in your inbox.