Microsoft Joins Smart Home Club

Written by Oonagh Reidy     03/07/2014 | 09:50 | Category: AUTOMATION

'Internet of Things' is next big thing, apparently.

Microsoft Joins Smart Home ClubMicrosoft has joined two Internet of Things clubs this week, as the home automation market heats up. 

Redmond has just joined the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) alongside Cisco, IBM and Intel, which builds open standards and intelligent architectures to connect smart devices, machines, people to each other. 

The software giant also joined - AllSeen Alliance, which drives adoption of Internet ready devices, enabling connected devices and objects to 'talk' to each other regardless of brand or operating system. 

LG, Panasonic, HTC and Qualcomm are also members.

"The Internet of Things (IoT) represents an undeniable opportunity across a range of industries, a topic many of my colleagues have covered at length over the past few months," says Kevin Dallas, General Manager, IoT, Microsoft.  

Internet of Things has opportunities in the connected home, healthcare, education, automotive and enterprise.

Smart devices connected to the web which' talk' to each other appear to be the next big thing in smart technology, as vendors like Samsung and LG roll out smart home devices from washing machines, to TV's and fridges, with more to follow.

Just lately, we've seen Google invest in home automation company Nest which makes connected smoke alarms, thermostats and just last week the company purchased Dropcam monitoring systems. 

Apple also recently developed HomeKit home automation platform to remotely operate lights, garage doors and appliances. 

But it looks like a battle of standards is on the horizon. Reuters reports "chipmakers that compete with Qualcomm plan to launch a rival standards consortium as early as next week," according to an industry source. 

"We believe that there is a critical set of work our industry must undertake in order to make sure we deliver the right set of platforms and services to realize the IoT opportunity," says Dallas.

This month, Microsoft launched a new startup accelerator dedicated to home automation and the Internet of Things, in partnership with American Family Insurance.