In the race for the latest in smart home gadgets a new challenge is presenting itself for consumers. The biggest players in the broader market are Alphabet (Google) and Apple. As competitors there is a real desire to ensure that they have the home automation platform that rises to the top.
From Apple Insider:
The Nest family of products communicates with Alphabet’s Weave. The protocol was developed by Nest, and implements traditional 802.11g/n Wi-Fi as well as some features of the 802.15.4 low-rate wireless communications protocol intended for the “internet of things.”
Apple’s HomeKit is a proprietary solution called “HomeKit Accessory Protocol” or HAP. One implementation of HAP uses HTTP and TCP networking and utilizes the company’s Bonjour discovery, with the other using Bluetooth. All HomeKit-compatible devices must have an embedded MFi authorization chip — something the Nest lacks.
These issues have been a concern for a number of years as gadgets come on to the market and then eventually fall out of favor, become less compatible or simply don’t keep up with the latest integration technologies. And don’t let the adoption of one of these main tech company’s platforms fool you, Alphabet’s Weave and Apple’s HomeKit are open source protocols that manufacturers can use. It doesn’t not guarantee that the product will provide updates or a particular level of service.
Essentially, consumers need to be aware of the ecosystem they are buying into when it comes to home automation. Make sure that the gadgets you select for your home will work and be supported for the long run. And before diving into either Alphabet or Apple’s system, research the products that are supported by each. Consider your individual smart home needs to ensure you get the most advanced system possible. You want to avoid having to shift direction a few years down the road at considerable expense.
You can read more about the evolution of this at Apple Insider: http://appleinsider.com/articles/16/07/22/why-alphabets-nest-doesnt-and-probably-wont-ever-support-apples-homekit