The Internet of Poorly Working Things
Jean-Louis Gassée

The IoT rollout hasn’t been much different than other tech waves in the past (going all the way back to Edison’s lightbulb, telephony, and the automobile): it simply takes time for the concept to be applied and developed in the real world. And yes, by its nature it has to happen in the marketplace — how else do we learn how such concepts can be used? Daily life is far too complicated to be replicated in the lab for R&D. Yes, it’s easy to make fun of a smart toaster, but all around it are examples hiding with very promising possibilities.

I’m far enough along in applying IoT in my home to know that it does hold the kind of promise that will have staying power as it matures. The various platforms are a bit of a pain (Wink, Zigbee, Homekit, Hue, etc etc), but in these early stages this is to be expected and one does have IFTTT to (somewhat primitively) cobble things together.

Again I’m a bit surprised that, like television, Apple has decided to put Homekit on its “hobby” backburner. Rather than become a leader that helps consolidate the field, it has decided to monitor the situation and to make incremental steps in building out its development. So far I’m not seeing a whole lot of progress with iOS 10, but having a separate Homekit app does help a bit. If — and when — Echo can better integrate with Homekit things will get better, but so far Alexa and Siri seem to prefer keeping a rather cold distance from one another. Alexa, by the way, has leapfrogged ahead of Siri as a more personable and effective concierge…

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