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Situation: There Are 15 Competing Standards

Smart home or “home automation” has pushed to become mainstream, yet constantly falters at the same spot: it’s frigging complicated. Normal people are not going to spend hours inside an app writing rules for every scenario to turn a light on. There are too many competing platforms and standards for home automation to even list. But that hasn’t stopped Home Depot from entering the fray.

Called Hubspace, the free app is available in Android and iOS app stores, and “enables light bulbs, smart plugs and ceiling fans to be controlled from anywhere,” according to a press release from Home Depot. It’s compatible with Google Home and Amazon Alexa devices, and works with a short list of products that Home Depot sells, from its proprietary brands such as Hampton Bay and EcoSmart. “There’s no need for a hub or extra equipment, and the platform already works with more than 20 products,” the press release explains.

The Verge’s Reporting

The road to home automation is littered with the remains of so many dead companies. Even worse are the tons of competing platforms where one “thing” won’t talk to another. Nest’s great thermostat has limited integration into nearly every platform. SmartThings was a great open platform, yet it’s been sullied by too much Samsung tinkering over the years.

Hubspace, nor Apple’s Homekit, nor any other platform is the answer to crappy home automation. Matter is the smart home’s only hope. One where ALL companies come together and move beyond this Tower of Babel.

Finally for anyone curious at the title, XKCD explains this mess succinctly.

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