Cisco has teamed with Bosch and ABB to form a joint venture to develop and operate what they say is an open software platform targeting smart home devices and applications.
The aim of the platform is to facilitate the exchange of data between different manufacturers' devices. What's more, the planned platform will make it possible to provide a number of services related to household devices, such as energy management, security technology and entertainment.
Besides developing and operating a software platform, the three companies said they plan to invite an array of appliance electronics manufacturers, home automation vendors and service providers to join a business ecosystem. The business ecosystem will aim to facilitate collaboration and incorporate a wide range of user requirements when developing the software platform.
Set to be housed in Germany, the three companies expect the joint venture will begin operations at the beginning of next year.
These three companies are hardly alone in their desires and will be challenged by other players like Google (NASDAQ: GOOG). Following its acquisition of Nest, Google launched its "Works with Nest" developer program in June to encourage partner companies such as Whirlpool, Mercedes Benz and garage door manufacturer Chamberlain Group to come up with new apps that work with the Nest products already in the home.
While still a relatively nascent segment, smart home networking is on the rise. According to ABI Research, growing competition, new applications and feature innovation will help drive the worldwide smart home controller market to $6 billion by 2019.
However big the smart home and overall Internet of Things (IoT) concept could be, a separate ABI report says the other concern will be cybersecurity. A number of variables, including safety considerations, consumer privacy and data protection, will have to be dealt with as more smart devices emerge in the home.
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