With the plethora of new developer sessions from Apple’s WWDC 2017 being released over the next week, it always makes for the perfect time to do some house cleaning and reprioritize my learning paths. Grab the broom and dust pan…here I go.
In reference to Ecobee’s latest product release, the Ecobee Lite, I came across this little snippet regarding Apple’s HomeKit:
But nowhere in its marketing materials is Apple’s HomeKit mentioned, despite the extra effort and cost the company has to go to in order to work with the system.Source: HomeKit is where the dearth is – no one wants Apple’s IoT tech • The Register
It would take far too much time and effort to try and counterpoint what I’m seeing as a trend of articles dismissing Apple’s HomeKit platform. That is not a battle I want to get into at the moment, but in seeing the line I quoted above, I decided to go take a look on Ecobee’s website to see about a lack of HomeKit branding:
Like the Lyric Round™ Wi-Fi Thermostat, the Lyric T Series is Apple® HomeKit™ compatible, which allows homeowners to set up special actions and even access other HomeKit-enabled devices around the home safely and securely. With Siri, users can change the temperature of their home without lifting a finger. And the Lyric T5 can use voice control with Amazon Alexa-enabled devices, such as the Echo, and will soon be available on Amazon’s latest service Tap.
Source: Honeywell Expands Lyric™ Family of Smart Thermostats in Time for Home Heating Season
Since I am an iOS developer, I’m keeping a close eye on Apple HomeKit enabled devices as they come out, with a particular interest in what other IoT platforms these devices work with. This one is the latest from Honeywell.
In my day job at Tack Mobile, I’m currently working on an app for a client’s legacy connected device that will be using HomeKit in their next hardware release, so want stay on top of what other connected device vendors are doing with their HomeKit enabled products and apps.
Resident Apple HomeKit enthusiast, Zac Hall, already wrote a thorough walkthrough of the new Home app during the initial iOS 10 beta period, but now that iOS 10 and watchOS 3 are shipping, it’s only right to give it another in-depth visit with a corresponding walkthrough.Source: iOS 10: How to control HomeKit devices with the Home app – 9to5Mac
Very thorough video walkthrough of Apple’s freshly released Home app and setting up your HomeKit-enabled connected devices. There is also a link to written walkthrough. I can’t say that I am actually a fan of Apple’s Home app itself from a user experience perspective, but it is a solid start. The app is also a good exposure to the concept of configuring and controlling the automation of a mix of connected home products in conjunction with other products and product types.
This is exactly the type of IoT product company I’ve been looking for. One of their focuses appears to be building their products, and in turn, part of their business plan, on the Apple HomeKit platform. I am sure that they will continue to expand their product’s platform compatibility (looks like their products work with Alexa too), but to have a company that we can watch as it evolves its platform and business model along with the IoT marketplace is a pretty valuable litmus test for HomeKit.
My main interest is iDevices integration of HomeKit and how their systems grow to incorporate other IoT platforms as they evolve. Google’s Weave more specifically, if and when it is fully released. I’m just starting my homework on them, but you can expect to hear more about them when I get a chance to do a deeper dive.
The Department of Homeland Security today formally announced its plan to develop a set of strategic principles for the Internet of Things, saying such a framework is necessary to protect the nation’s critical infrastructure from cyber threats.
See more at: DHS Announces Intent to Draft IoT Security Framework https://wp.me/p3AjUX-vqn
Curios development. I do have a hard time imagining all the various corporations and alliances involved in the IoT ecosystem coming to an agreements on…well, just about anything.
Not that DHS throwing their hat into the ring is going to change the progress being made in IoT security, it is good to know that it is officially on the nation’s radar.
Longtime tech stalwart Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) has been working feverishly to become a significant player in the cloud and Internet of Things (IoT) markets. salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM), on the other hand, was one of the first to shift to the cloud, where it has lately been working to make its user experience more intuitive.
On Thursday, the two tech giants announced they are forming a strategic partnership to “jointly develop and market solutions that join Cisco’s collaboration, IoT and contact center platforms with Salesforce Sales Cloud, IoT Cloud and Service Cloud.”
Source: Cisco, Salesforce Form a Cloud and IoT Alliance | Investopedia
This IoT rabbit hole goes way too deep, but a few industry focuses I am considering are starting to reveal themselves. I am going to start playing close attention to IoT platforms and the partnerships that are forming between various vendors. I am also going to start keeping an eye specifically on news around Apple’s HomeKit and Google’s IoT platform elements, Brillo and Weave, as the eventually come to market.
These platform partnerships, and the vendors that integrate Apple’s and Google’s IoT platforms, are the best shot I currently see for determining the immediate direction of consumer IoT and home automation.
It’s been years since I last made an effort to keep track of my thoughts and opinions, on any topic, in any form of public dialog. My last venture was from 2004-2009 when I dug into urban development and real estate in Columbus, Ohio. Without getting into the details of those past efforts, the thing I remember most vividly about the experience is the clarity of thought that developed as part of the writing process. Having to do the research, formulate a coherent perspective, and put those perspectives in writing helped bring that clarity. Today, that writing process is something I hope to get back to as I continue a self-educational dive that started last year into the Internet of Things (IoT).
IoT is a very broad term that covers a wide swath of consumer and industrial markets. It encapsulates every aspect of design and development for both digital and physical goods, and it requires a wide range of technical expertise in order to bring a connected device to market. From user experience to customer management, embedded computing to predictive analytics, there is almost no element of the entire digital ecosystem that IoT products do not touch. There are hundreds of companies, organizations and people stepping into the IoT ecosystem offering everything from end-to-end IoT solutions to general thought leadership. It is a vast, relatively nascent market where the boundaries are being defined as I write this. There are no clear leaders as of yet, at least with respect to the consumer market, despite the current efforts of Apple, Google and Amazon. I find this to be the most exciting aspect.
There is clearly plenty of room for thought leadership. As I continue to evolve my own understanding of this market, I hope to share my perspectives on what I learn as I go. I have been, for most of my 20-year professional career, an agency developer programming everything from websites and backend web services to touchscreen kiosks and mobile applications. As I expand into some of the specific areas and markets of connected devices, I feel pretty confident that I can, at the very least, contribute a unique perspective to the IoT conversation.
As part of my learning process, I will be practicing a little bit of knowledge management by aggregating my IoT research in an online repository of sorts that will be linked to my website. I will be starting off by sharing my “IoT” Twitter list but will be quickly expanding to contain information about organizations and products that I come across during my research. Have a look: iotresources.paulbonneville.com
Welcome to my learning journal.
Details on Weave and Brillo are still rather sparse since the projects are still in their infancy, but Google certainly seems to have the resources and gusto to make these the new standard for all IoT devices. Their new plan seems to involve getting manufacturers of IoT devices, including everything from smart home gadgets to farming equipment, to have Brillo and Weave pre-installed and ready to integrate with your mobile device and computer.Source: Blog Post: Brillo and Weave, IoT operating systems, and Android M, Is Google is taking over IoT?, in Internet of Things via element14.com
If you own any “smart home” devices and have gone through the process of installing and using them, you know that the experience can really be hit or miss. Once you do have them working, actually using them is the next hurdle.