The Smart Home market competing ecosystems is frustrating customers, according to a new report from Argus Insights. The report looks at the top current options for home connectivity and finds consumers less than delighted with an old tech theme – a lack of desire of competing technologies to work together.
In particular, Google and Apple’s refusal to “play nice together” irks users who are happier with the broad and relatively easier-to-integrate Amazon Echo.
According to data compiled from over 576,000 Smart Home device and application consumer reviews from January 2015 to present, the Amazon Echo and Apple’s Homekit are top-of-mind for consumers specifically discussing ecosystems.
The Amazon Echo has gained strong consumer interest since the product was broadly promoted at the recent Consumer Electronics Show. Interestingly, the Works with Nest environment is the least discussed ecosystem of those researched.
John Feland, CEO of report authors Argus Insights, explains:
“Consumers enter the Smart Home journey under the premise of creating an intelligent home that anticipates and serves their needs in a delightful, low maintenance manner. Along this journey, after users overcome the hurdles of installation and continued use through often broken app experiences, they are confronted with a mess of protocols as they approach expansion.”
“Consumers are dismissing Google’s Nest ecosystem play, and we are seeing a real battle between Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa for the voice of the Smart Home. While Apple forces users to rely on iOS devices, Alexa will chat up anyone willing to integrate into the Echo API.”
It’s worth noting that using reviews as a measurement tool of satisfaction may result in skewed data – people tend to be more inclined to take the time to review a negatively received product than a positive one. Further, a customer’s needs at the early stages of the home IoT experience may differ greatly than when they want to try more complex integrations and connections.
Currently, Google only works with Nest, HomeKit only works with iOS devices, and Alexa works with everyone. Interconnectivity and the ability to function in multi-user environments will become more important as people introduce more smart devices into their home. Companies unwilling to facilitate this may soon find themselves passed over, however strong the consumer brand recognition.