|Gartner has predicted that digital assistants on smartphones and other devices will serve as the primary interface to connected home services in at least 25 per cent of households in developed economies by 2019.|
"In the not-too-distant future, users will no longer have to contend with multiple apps; instead, they will literally talk to digital personal assistants such as Apple's Siri, Amazon's Alexa or Google Assistant," Mark O'Neill, Gartner research director, commented.
"Some of these personal assistants are cloud-based and already beginning to leverage smart machine technology."
Gartner notes the potential shown by digital assistants "to satisfy wants and needs by delivering experiences that connect services, configure devices and even order and deliver products", while personalised, context-aware information can also be presented.
"Consumers don't want to deal with separate proprietary apps for each type of connected device in their home," O'Neill observed. "Rather than individual apps, it is the interactions between devices - as well as with service providers and external data sources - that are most compelling to consumers.
"These interactions make it possible to create, detect and respond to 'business moments', which Gartner defines as transient opportunities that are exploited dynamically using digital technology."
Moving post-app, blending devices and services from multiple sources together for access via digital personal assistants, Gartner states that application programming interfaces (APIs) are the key to integration.
Gartner states that amid more providers and devices becoming available, "different ecosystems will form around each large tech provider as they recruit allies, build partnerships and attract developers in the quest for leadership in the connected home", enabling "individual industries to use the connected home as a new business channel for their services".
"APIs are the key to interoperating with new digital interfaces, and a well-managed API program is a key success factor for organisations that are interested in reaching consumers in their connected homes," O'Neill stated.
"In the emerging programmable home, it is no longer best to spend time and money on developing individual apps. Instead, divert resources to APIs, which are the way to embrace the post-app world."