Google acquired home automation company Nest for $3.2 billion last year, Samsung acquired smart home technology vendor SmartThings for a rumored $200 million, and products compatible with Apple's HomeKit technology are scheduled to arrive this spring. Oh, and AT&T's Digital Life home automation service is now accepting third-party applications, just months after AT&T agreed to license the platform internationally.
Google, Samsung, Apple and AT&T are just some of the bigger names in the connected home space. From Philips to Wink, from Lowe's to Home Depot, from the Thread Group to the AllSeen Alliance, the number of companies setting their sights on the home automation sector is growing by leaps and bounds.
And that's not really a surprise: Connected home applications are both powerful and powerfully alluring. Who wouldn't want to get an alert on their phone if their water heater started leaking? Who wouldn't want to be able to check to make sure they locked their front door while they were out on vacation?
But what's more important is the role that the connected home may play in the budding Internet of Things industry. The connected home is on the cutting edge of the IoT wave, and the companies that manage to make a dent in the connected home space will be well positioned to play in other IoT areas like wearables, healthcare and smart cities.
That's why I'm excited to be moderating a panel on the connected home at the upcoming Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona, Spain. "The Connected Home: A Proving Ground for the Internet of Things" will be held Wednesday, March 4, from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. at the Fira Congress Hotel, which is just a five-minute walk from the main Fira Gran Via MWC venue.
We'll have some great speakers on the panel, including:
- Alex Hawkinson, founder and CEO of SmartThings. Hawkinson is a longtime executive in the cloud technology industry and guided SmartThings to its acquisition by Samsung last year.
- Jean-Claude Kiessling, head of business development and portfolio management for Deutsche Telekom. Kiessling is responsible for the strategy and internationalization of Deutsche Telekom's open smart home platform, QIVICON.
- And John Horn, EVP and chief strategy officer of KORE Wireless Group. Horn is a longtime wireless executive who previously oversaw the M2M business of T-Mobile.
Now, aside from our excellent speakers, there are two main reasons that you should attend this panel. The first is that you will be able to interact directly with our panelists: The event is an informal roundtable that will accept questions from the audience. You won't have to waste your time with boring PowerPoint presentations or inane, softball questions. And the second, and perhaps most important reason you should attend this panel is: Lunch! Yes, we'll serve you lunch.
If you would like to attend this Fierce event, please click here. --Mike