One of the major themes of smart home technology is collaboration - how do the products speak to each other and what is the user experience based on this tangled network? A secondary theme is the privacy and security of the solutions.

Many home automation systems are charging at these issues. Some platforms, like Apple, now manage to solve for both. As already witnessed by Apple's dominance in the mobile phone category, the company does a great job of finding partners to collaborate with it, making all the apps and accessories come together with the phone like a glove. Secondly, they are focused on making it secure. With their brand name behind it, they may make a risk-proof solution that lasts years into the future.

Apple’s HomeKit platform seeks to provide a single overarching ecosystem within which all sorts of smart devices can coexist in harmony. Provided a device was made HomeKit-compatible by its manufacturer, it’s ready to integrate with the existing HomeKit hub setup. After this, users can simply begin interacting with the Home app or by talking to Apple’s digital voice assistant, Siri, to enact precise control over every room in the house. There’s no need for hubs to wrangle half a dozen different communication standards, no juggling multiple apps and no hoping that the newest smart device will play nicely with everything else.

Using home automation, it’s crucial to know which products are compatible with one another. In the world of smart home systems, gadgets can only communicate if they speak using the same language or “standard.” Users typically require a separate app for each system, and separate hardware too. And in this still early market, tech firms still tend to see the most profitable business model as one that acts as a walled garden. However, manufacturers are becoming aware that more compatibility is important – soon we hope to see devices that support Apple’s HomeKit, and Google’s Weave, as well as the other systems still on the horizon.

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