In a recent report titled, “The Connected Home Is Transforming Into a Programmable Platform”, Gartner has predicted that 25% of households in developed countries will use digital personal assistants on smartphones as their main interface for connecting to smart home services, according to an article on CXOtoday.
This growth is driven by the improved capabilities of personal assistants, as well as more smart devices for performing home automation tasks by connecting services, ordering products and configuring devices. While these devices each offer their own control applications, the IoT industry will place a growing importance on digital personal assistants that can control the entire system.
“Consumers don’t want to deal with separate proprietary apps for each type of connected device in their home,” said Mark O’Neill, research director at Gartner. “Rather than individual apps, it is the interactions between devices — as well as with service providers and external data sources — that are most compelling to consumers.” APIs are the key to this kind of tight integration that provides access to devices, services and personal, context-aware information that can be presented when it is needed.
As well as easing the task of home management for consumers, connecting smart homes using APIs and controlled by digital personal assistants will present new business opportunities for individual industries. For example, insurance companies might offer advice in the context of weather and thermostat information, or banks may provide voice interfaces for paying home bills.
The opportunities exposed by APIs for connected homes justifies a shift away from the traditional focus on application development. As O’Neill neatly summed up, “In the emerging programmable home, it is no longer best to spend time and money on developing individual apps. Instead, divert resources to APIs, which are the way to embrace the postapp world.”