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News Detail

Smart home connectivity and interworking is still five years away

Issuing time:2017-03-24 00:00

[David friedman also expects the Internet of things smart home appliance industry to be worth $490 billion in 2019, with developed countries accounting for 60 percent of the market.]

The Internet of things era is so attractive, as one of the most important components of the Internet of things era, smart home "island" phenomenon how to break?

"First financial daily" reporter recently interviewed on industrial chain each link of different enterprises in, upstream from the intelligent hardware parts suppliers and trading platform, intelligent terminal products manufacturers, to a third party cloud platform access provider, cloud platform and has a strong ability of electricity, everyone to solve intelligence lives in "islands" has a lot to look forward to.

However, industry insiders predict that it will take another five years for smart home products to achieve connectivity.

Brand home appliances do not unicom

As an e-commerce platform for China's electronics manufacturing supply chain, hardegg has been promoting the intellectualization of home appliances. Hardegg President assistant wen dong admitted that there is no unified communication protocol for intelligent hardware, different cloud platforms have different communication protocols.

"Competition is inevitable, there will be chaos in new markets and there will be no uniform standards." Wen dong said, communication interface standards, WiFi, bluetooth, etc. At the level of operating system, iOS and android are two major systems, which can be solved if the manufacturer develops two versions of App. A big problem is cloud access. No matter Internet companies such as alibaba, tencent, jingdong, or manufacturers such as samsung, haier and midea have a unified standard for cloud access.

An e-commerce platform of the relevant people also outspoken, smart home pain point, is not between the products linkage. Ordinary people do not necessarily buy the same brand of home appliances, such as midea air conditioner, haier refrigerator, samsung TV, they can not be connected. Although each big brand their interior vertical all products can be connected, but there is a gap between horizontal and other brand products. The large e-commerce platform is planning to promote interaction between brand owners.

In fact, whether ali, jingdong, or suning, gome, have such ideas. The problem is that manufacturers also have their own concerns. They dare not give up the right to speak about user data and product use data.

Sun yingkai, President of wanhe research institute, admits that companies are concerned about the confidentiality of their data. "In the future, data is money. Will you give it away?" Therefore, there must be a game process between the cloud platform of large e-commerce companies and manufacturers, and powerful manufacturers will also build their own cloud platform.

Sun yingkai said, from the perspective of wanhe, product intelligence will go through the following three stages: first, "single product single cloud", a product docking a cloud, ali sales of products to ali cloud, jingdong sales of products to jingdong cloud, 70%~80% of the manufacturers are doing this; The second stage is "yipin cloudy", a product compatible with different clouds. Now there is a third-party cloud service provider like "smart cloud", but the level of business cloud is not very mature and stable, because the more factors to consider, the greater the technical difficulty. In the third stage, "multiple products and one cloud" is the highest realm. Products of different brands share a cloud platform, and then the user experience will be the best. However, "a product cloudy is advancing, multi-product a cloud is still in the mud!"

The rise of third-party cloud access platforms

Tact cloud, headquartered in guangzhou, was founded in 2005. At the beginning, it mainly provided software technology services to European and American companies. Five years ago it cut into apple's peripherals. Because pearl river delta has many electronic enterprises, such as products such as blood pressure meters, bracelets, but they lack the software strength, so they need partners to help them achieve intelligent hardware.

Looking back at the company's growth, huang xixiong, general manager of smart cloud, told China business news that the "platform-based service" introduced around 2012 was based on the fact that many small and medium-sized electronics companies could not afford software development, so they adopted a commission based on product sales. "Some products cost less than 100 yuan and can only cover the development cost with sales of more than 100,000 yuan, so we set up a cloud platform to monitor the activation amount and usage time of products."

Naturally, with the growth of apple's ecological chain, the business of "smart cloud" also cuts into the field of home appliances. In fact, apple launched Homekit smart home platform two years ago, and haier and midea have become its partners.

For small businesses, they generally charge a platform service fee based on product sales. Witcloud provides one-stop product cloud access and management services in the form of public cloud. For large enterprises, such as haier and midea, who want to build their own cloud platforms, "smart cloud" provides technical support to help them set up their own private cloud services, and the data of smart appliances are controlled by these large enterprises themselves.

"Smart hardware has three elements: sensors, cloud access, and smart systems on the server side." Huang xixiong believes that big data will be put in the cloud in the future. For example, the intelligent socket is small in size, and its computing, learning and storage capacity are all in the cloud. After cloud analysis, the socket is informed. For another example, temperature, infrared, laser and other sensors are people's eyes, ears and noses, collecting information, while the cloud is like the brain, gathering information to make a decision, and then informing the terminal to adjust.

Now there are communication protocols for cloud access, which are different from each other. At the level of household appliance enterprises, there are haier, midea, gree, hisense, TCL, skyworth and other manufacturers. E-commerce platforms include alibaba, jingdong, suning and gome. Just as midea is open to the agreement, haier will not necessarily use; Give the intelligent product of ali first, perhaps cloud does not access. "It has been difficult for factories in the past year. Jingdong, ali, suning and gome all asked for smart appliances according to their own standards."

This is where the value of a neutral third-party cloud access platform comes in. "We've worked with 70 to 80 communication module vendors, opened the source code, and manufacturers have found that with smart cloud, you can reach multiple communication module vendors." For agreements between different e-commerce platforms, tact cloud ACTS as a "translator," Mr. Huang said. For example, "we get through to jingdong cloud, and I adapt to you.

Such third-party cloud platform services are also emerging in the United States, such as ala things, which was founded in silicon valley. In an interview with the reporter at the end of 2015, David friedman, CEO of ayla Internet, said that enterprises build cloud platforms by themselves with large investment and uncertain returns, and use third-party cloud platform services to save money and worry. Apple, Google, amazon and samsung are all acquiring Internet of things platforms and implementing their own Internet of things strategies.

In China, the BAT three Internet companies also face stiff competition. "Ella is not competing with them, we are doing enterprise-class cloud platforms, and we want to work with them all. Amazon and WeChat have worked with us." He also expects the Internet of things smart home appliance industry to be worth $490 billion by 2019, with developed countries accounting for 60 percent of the market.

So far, ala has completed the series B financing, which has raised us $20 million. Smart cloud also raised 200 million yuan last year, making it the largest single investment in the Internet of things cloud service industry in China.


Despite the rise of third-party cloud access platforms, alibaba, jd and other giants are too large. To break the "island" phenomenon of smart home, it is still necessary for manufacturing and distribution giants to "sit down" and promote openness and cooperation. Wen dong believes that this needs the guidance of the government and industry associations, while integrating in the process of marketization, and forming several major alliances around the world, such as 4G has become two standards. Because if we do not cooperate, users will not have a good experience, "do not buy" smart home.

As one of the partners of ali intelligent business, Shanghai qingke is a supplier of communication modules. Vice President of Shanghai city jian-hong ren to introduce "first financial daily" reporter, smart home industry is developing rapidly, a double tenth, 2015, ali platform has more than 120 smart sheet is tasted, and only less than 10 a year ago, in 2016 is expected to double tenth a intelligent item on ali platform will be more than 300, covering all kinds of intelligent home appliances products.

"We serve 500 customers. Last year we had 150 customers mass producing smart products. We expect more mass producing customers this year." Ren said that alibaba's cloud access protocol is embedded in the WiFi modules of Shanghai qinco, so as long as manufacturers assemble the modules into smart products, these smart products will be able to access alibaba's cloud platform. He revealed that ali this year will promote the exchange of various brands of home appliances products. And at present, Shanghai qingke also has cooperation with jd.

The propulsion strength of home appliance bibcock is very big also. WiFi modules will be standard in all air conditioners in midea after August 2016. Fang hongbo, chairman and President of midea group, said in an exclusive interview with China business news at the end of last year that the hardware, software and cloud system form a smart home system. In 2016, midea will release a full range of smart home appliances and midea's smart home system, which will connect with all external systems.

The cost of WiFi modules has dropped rapidly in recent years, from about 100 yuan two years ago to more than 20 yuan last year, and will drop to more than 10 yuan or even less this year. Therefore, huang xixiong believes that the networking function will gradually become the standard of household appliances. It is only when it is connected, for example, that the air purifier is turned on and the air conditioner is turned on. The kitchen is open, take out lampblack machine to take lampblack automatically, once the depth of smoke exceeds bid, smoke alarm can ring. "Lack of openness is the biggest problem right now." In ren jianhong's opinion, to break the "information island" idea of smart home, one is to continue to promote the intelligent single product, as long as the Internet, through big data analysis, can through product iteration, more accurately find the pain point of users; Second, the major standards alliance to further open cooperation; Third, call for more neutral third-party service providers, including hardware intelligent service providers, third-party cloud access service providers, big data analysis application service providers, etc., together to promote the interconnection between products.

Ren estimates that it will take five years for smart homes to truly realize artificial intelligence and connectivity.

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