Building a Seamless Experience: The Importance of Interoperability

by Parks Associates | May. 9, 2019

The ideal smart home experience is one in which a broad range of smart home devices are setup effortlessly and work together seamlessly, providing convenience to the user and enhanced value for all products in the ecosystem. The connectivity, automation, and data sharing derived from integration can create a differentiated user experience. However, the challenge of integrating a broad group of products while maintaining a solid user experience is significant. Consumer devices use a multitude of networking protocols and applications, each optimized for particular use cases. Initiatives such as voice assistants, shared networking protocols, API integrations, and control hubs that translate information enable some degree of interoperability, but are far from creating the ideal situation. As smart home brands attempt to capture market share, broad scale interoperability must remain a priority for brands.

Parks Associates research shows 60% of smart home device purchase intenders find it very important for their future smart home devices to work with the smart products they already own. Among these intenders, the ability to work with other products ranks more highly than even brand considerations. Nearly 65% of smart speaker owners find it “very important” that the devices they intend to purchase work with their smart speaker. Additionally, 56% find it “very important” that the next device they purchase work with many different types of smart products.

By clearly identifying interoperable devices within a program through branding, consumers will be more likely to purchase a device that works with the platform of their choosing. For example, the proliferation of smart speaker devices, such as Amazon Echo and Google Home, has allowed consumers to build their own personalized smart home ecosystem by adopting compatible devices that often require little or no installation effort. This approach is dominated by early adopters and tech enthusiasts, however, and it remains to be seen if mainstream consumers will embrace this approach.

Moderated by Chris O’Dell, the CONNECTIONS™ session, “Interoperability: Technology Convergence and Expanding the Smart Home,” looks at the efforts to build a seamless experience that crosses brands, platforms, and ecosystems, invisible to the end user.

This session takes place on Wednesday, May 22 from 1:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. Speakers include:

  • Avi Barel, Director, Business Development, ULE Alliance
  • Alex Capecelatro, CEO,
  • Pete Horton, Vice President, Market Development, Electrical Wiring Systems Division, Legrand
  • Soren Lorentsen, Director, Global Business Development, SmartHome IoT, Silicon Labs
  • Katelyn Mason, Strategic Partner Development, Google Assistant


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