Will 2021 usher in more advances in smart home connectivity?

While 2020 was a fantastic year for the smart home business, with dozens of smart home companies contributing to an average stock price increase, there’s one continual, collective failing that the industry should look to rectify as soon as possible: a lack of interoperability.

In 2020, Interpret’s Smart Home Matrix™ showed that most smart home consumers in the US were in the dark about connectivity between devices. Specifically, fully 60% of US smart home consumers either did not expect or were not sure about interoperability among their devices.

Ultimately, when 100% of consumers expect their newly purchased smart home products to just work and connect without a hitch in their smart home ecosystem, it’ll become far easier for smart home manufacturers to sell into this base while encouraging repeat customers. This sort of integration is low-hanging fruit for the industry and mirrors what vendors of products supporting Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and, of course, electricity have already accomplished.

The good news is that we’re starting to see encouraging developments that could move the industry towards this goal. Allegion, a company with a large share of consumer products and smart locks, including the popular Schlage brand, is taking early action in 2021 to address this problem by acquiring Yonomi, a smart home integration platform providing the glue that holds connected products together.

“Yonomi is already powering a number of leading brands including Philips Hue, Logitech, Genie, Lutron, and others,” observed Stuart Sikes, Senior Vice President at Interpret. “Allegion appears not only committed to building more smart home products, but providing the tools and software to help other companies make their products connect and work seamlessly. This could be a notable acquisition to advance interoperability among smart home products in 2021.”