When we talk about a smart home, it’s not just about individual smart devices; it’s about a group of devices working together to create a cohesive system that enhances the intelligence and efficiency of the home.
For instance, imagine having both a smart camera and smart lights. You can integrate these devices to work in harmony, allowing your lights to respond to motion detected by the camera.
However, to achieve this level of integration, you need a central hub or platform that connects your various smart home devices, whether they are from the same or different manufacturers. This enables you to have unified control through a single interface and create automation routines for your connected devices. This central hub or platform is what we refer to as the ‘smart home ecosystem.
Types of Smart Home Ecosystem
There are many Smart Home Ecosystems available on the market today and based on the way they support devices, we can categorize them into two broader categories; Inclusive & Brand-Centric Smart Home Ecosystems.
Inclusive Smart Home Ecosystems
This type of Smart Home Ecosystem allows you to connect various smart home devices from different manufacturers. These smart home platforms are usually open to all manufacturers. This means that by following respective guidelines, any manufacturer can create a smart home device that works with such smart home ecosystems.
These ecosystems usually require a device in the form of hub or smart speakers to extend their features like, voice control (voice assistant), offline/local support, and more.
Popular names in this category includes; Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Apple HomeKit, Samsung SmartThings, Home Assistant, Hubitat, Homey, etc.
Brand-Centric Smart Home Ecosystems
These types of ecosystems are not open to all and usually limited to their own manufactured or partner devices. Means they only allow you to connect their own devices.
These ecosystems generally come in the form of your smart devices’ companion apps. Some popular names in this type includes; Philips hue, Kasa Smart, TP-Link Tapo, ecobee, Ring, Lutron, August Home, Aqara Home, Wemo, etc.