In the mist of a flurry of activity by a myriad companies to develop smart home devices and hubs, the man at the head of Lowe’s (NYSE:LOW) smart home division has a surprising prediction for how the market will evolve in the next three to five years: the smart home will get a lot simpler.
Re/Code’s Lauren Goode spoke with Kevin Meagher, vice president and general manager of the smart home division at Lowe’s. Meagher says that the announcement of new smart home platforms and systems — like those by SmartThings, Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Nest and Dropcam, and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) — are all good news for the industry, and for the smart home as a concept. He says that open standards and an integrated user interface are a necessary development, and “fundamental to the whole idea of the smart home.”
Even as more companies begin to offer smart home systems and devices, it’s the development of industry standards that will unify the experience for customers — and prevent the fragmentation that’s caused by companies trying to get users to buy into their exclusive ecosystem. Meagher tells Goode:
“In the past, everyone thought they could own the consumer, that the consumer would buy everything they sell. There’s still a lot of that around, sadly, a lot of that thinking. But actually, most people — and this is the way we’re thinking and the way Apple is going forward, although less clear around Google — but the idea is to give users a single interface and a single app and let them choose what they want to buy.”