The Amazon Echo has quietly become the hottest smart home product on the market. Suddenly, every tech company wants to integrate its products with Amazon’s customizable virtual assistant, Alexa.
We already have many smart lightbulbs, outlets, switches, and thermostats, but there are far fewer large smart appliances like fridges and washers. In this feature, I talked to industry insiders about the problem facing smart appliances. And that problem is: what exactly should they do that their “dumb” counterparts don’t do?
I worked on this longform feature on and off for about four months. In it, I provide a comprehensive look at the state of the smart home industry and the problems it still faces as it marches towards mass consumer awareness and adoption.
*Due to the rapidly changing nature of the Internet of Things space, the piece is already out of date due to Google’s acquisition of Revolv and the new developments from Apple regarding HomeKit.