Smart home interconnection, interoperability still need five years, how about the silo phenomenon?

2018-10-09 17:28

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

The former Financial Daily reporter recently interviewed a succession of different enterprises in each link of the industry chain, from the upstream components of intelligent hardware suppliers and trading platforms, intelligent terminal product manufacturers, to the third-party cloud platform access service providers, as well as a strong cloud platform capabilities of the e-commerce company, we all crack the smart home "island" has a lot of expectations. Expectations.

  However, some industry veterans predict that it will take five years for smart home products to be interconnected.

Brand appliances are not connected

  As China's electronics manufacturing supply chain e-commerce platform, "hard egg" has been promoting the intelligent home appliances. Hard Egg's presidential assistant Wen Dong frankly admitted that now the communication protocol of intelligent hardware is not unified, and different cloud platforms have different communication protocols.

"Competition is inevitable, the new market will be chaotic, there is no unified standard." Wendong said that the communication interface standard, there are WiFi, Bluetooth, etc.; operating system level, iOS, Android is the two major systems, manufacturers to develop two App version is solved; the bigger problem is the cloud access, whether it is Ali, Tencent, Jingdong and other Internet companies, or Samsung, Haier, Midea, and other manufacturers, their cloud access does not have a unified standard, "you pick up You can't pick up others if you pick up me".

  An e-commerce platform also bluntly stated that the pain point of the smart home is that the products can not be linked. The people at home do not necessarily buy the same brand of whole-house appliances, such as the United States air conditioning, Haier refrigerators, Samsung TV, they can not be interconnected. Even if the major brands within their vertical all the products can be connected, but horizontal and other brands are disconnected between the products. This large e-commerce platform, is planning to promote the formation of interaction between brands.

  In fact, whether it is Ali, Jingdong, or Suning, Gome, all have such an idea. The problem is that manufacturers also have their own concerns, for user data, product usage data of the right to speak, do not dare to give up easily.

  Sun Yingkai, director of the Wanhe Research Institute, admits that companies worry about the confidentiality of their data. "In the future, data is money ah, will you give money to others?" Therefore, there is bound to be a gaming process between large e-commerce cloud platforms and manufacturers, and manufacturers with strength will also build their own cloud platforms.

  Sun Yingkai said, from the point of view of Wanhe, product intelligence will go through the following three stages: the first is a "single product single cloud", a product docking a cloud, Ali sales of products connected to the Ali cloud, Jingdong sales of products connected to the Jingdong cloud, 70% ~ 80% of manufacturers are doing this; the second stage is a "single product multi-cloud", a product docking a cloud. A product multi-cloud", a product compatible with different clouds, now there has been a "wit cloud" such as third-party cloud service providers, but the level of business cloud is not very mature, very stable, because the more factors to consider, the greater the technical difficulty; the third stage of the "multi-products A cloud" is a higher realm, different brands of products share a cloud platform, then the user experience will be better. However, "one product multi-cloud is advancing, multi-product one cloud is still in the mud!"

The rise of third-party cloud access platform

"Smart Cloud" company headquartered in Guangzhou, was founded in 2005. At the beginning of the venture, it is mainly to Europe and the United States companies to do software technology services; five years ago cut into the ecological chain of peripherals around Apple. Because there are many electronic enterprises in the Pearl River Delta, products such as blood pressure monitors, bracelets, etc., but they lack the software strength, so they need a partner to help them achieve hardware intelligence.

 Looking back on the company's growth course, "wit cloud" company general manager Huang Xixiong told the former Financial Daily reporter, before and after 2012, "service platform", just based on many small and medium-sized electronic enterprises can not afford the cost of software development, so they Adopted a charging model that takes commission according to product sales. "Some products are less than 100 yuan, the sales volume to more than 100,000 in order to cover the development costs, so we engaged in the cloud platform to monitor the amount of product activation, time of use, etc."

Logically, along with the growth of Apple's ecological chain, "Smart Cloud" business also cut into the field of home appliances. In fact, Apple has released Homekit smart home platform two years ago, and Haier, Midea, etc. have become its partners.

Huang Xixiong said, their charging model is divided into two categories, for small businesses, generally take the product sales by charging the platform service fee model, "wit cloud" to the public cloud to provide one-stop product cloud access and management services; for large enterprises, such as Haier, Midea, etc., want to build their own cloud platform, then "Smart Cloud" to provide technical support to help them build their own private cloud services, smart home appliances data by these large enterprises to master.

"Intelligent hardware has three elements, sensors, cloud access and server-side intelligent system". Huang Xixiong believes that in the future, big data will be placed in the cloud. For example, the smart socket is very small, its computing, learning and reserve capacity are all in the cloud, and the cloud analyses and then tells the socket. Another example, temperature, infrared, laser and other sensors, is the human eye, ear, nose, to collect information, and the cloud is like a brain, convergence of information to make decisions, and then notify the terminal to adjust.

Now is the cloud access to the communication protocol, varying, home appliance enterprise level, there are Haier, the United States, Gree, Hisense, TCL, Skyworth and other different manufacturers; e-commerce platform level, there are Ali, Jingdong, Suning and Gome. Just as the United States open out of the agreement, Haier will not necessarily use; first to Ali's smart products, perhaps the Jingdong cloud will not access. "In the past year the factory is difficult, Jingdong, Ali, Suning and Gome, are required to do smart home appliances according to their own standards (referring to the cloud access protocol)."

  This is where the value of a neutral third-party cloud access platform comes in. "We have cooperated with 70~80 communication module vendors with open source code, and manufacturers have found that they can reach a wide range of communication module vendors through Kijiji Cloud." Huang Xixiong said, for different e-commerce platforms protocol, JiZhiYun act as a "translation" role, for example, "we and Jingdong cloud through, I go to adapt you", JiZhiYun hope to bridge different protocols of the product, so that they can achieve interoperability.

  The United States is also rising such third-party cloud platform service providers, such as founded in Silicon Valley, "Ella IOT". David Friedman, CEO of Ella IoT, said in an interview with this reporter at the end of 2015, enterprises build their own cloud platform investment is large, the return is uncertain, with a third-party cloud platform services to save money and worry. Apple, Google, Amazon, and Samsung are all acquiring IoT platforms and implementing their own IoT strategies.

In China, the three major internet companies, BAT, are also competing fiercely. "Aira is not in competition with them, we are making an enterprise-grade cloud platform and want to start cooperation with all of them, Amazon and WeChat have already cooperated with us." He also expects the value of the IoT smart home appliance industry to reach $490 billion in 2019, with developed countries accounting for 60% of the market space.

  At present, Ella IOT has completed the B round of financing, the amount of financing reached 20 million U.S. dollars; and JiZhi cloud last year, also got 200 million financing, becoming the domestic Internet of Things cloud service industry in the larger single investment.

The way to go

  Although the third-party cloud access platform is rising, but after all, Ali, Jingdong and other giants of the volume is too large, to break the smart home "island" phenomenon, or the need for major manufacturing, circulation giants "sit down", to promote open cooperation. Wendong believes that this requires the guidance of the government, industry associations, at the same time in the process of market integration, and the formation of several major alliances around the world, such as 4G has become two standards. Because if we do not co-operate, the user will not have a good experience, the smart home will "not buy".

  As one of the partners of Ali smart business, Shanghai Qingke is a supplier of communication modules. Shanghai Qingke's vice president Ren Jianhong to "lean forward financial daily" reporter, smart home industry is still developing rapidly, in 2015, Ali platform has more than 120 smart single product, while a year ago only no more than 10, is expected in 2016, Ali platform on the smart single product will be more than 300, covering all kinds of smart home appliances.

"We serve 500 customers, 150 customers mass-produced smart single products last year, and more customers are expected to mass-produce this year." Ren said that Shanghai Qingke's WiFi module has Ali's cloud access protocol embedded in it, so as long as the manufacturer assembles the module into smart products, those smart products can access Ali's cloud platform. He revealed that Ali will promote the interoperability between brands of home appliances this year. And at present, Shanghai Qingke and Jingdong also have cooperation.

The promotion of leading home appliances is also very strong. Midea after August 2016 all air conditioners will be equipped with WiFi modules as standard. Fang Hongbo, chairman and president of Midea Group, said at the end of last year in one of the few exclusive interviews with Leaning Forward Financial Daily that the three aspects of hardware, software, and cloud system constitute the smart home system of the U.S. In 2016, the U.S. will release a full range of smart home appliances and the U.S. smart home system, and link with all external systems.

    The cost of WiFi module has been rapidly declining in recent years, from about $100 two years ago to more than $20 last year, and will drop to more than $10 this year, or even less than $10. Therefore, Huang Xixiong believes that networking capabilities will gradually become standard for home appliances. Only interconnected to produce value, for example, air purifier is open, but also drive the air conditioning start; stove is open, the range hood will automatically suck fumes, once the depth of the smoke exceeds the standard, the smoke alarm will ring. "The lack of open-mindedness is now a bigger problem." In the view of Ren Jianhong, to break the smart home "information island" idea, one is to continue to promote the single product intelligence, as long as the Internet, through big data analysis, you can iterate through the product, and more accurately find the user's pain points; two is the major standards alliance to further open up the cooperation; three is to 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 of products.