BRIEF: The Smart Home Hub Boom

All of a sudden, the smart home competition is cutthroat.

BRIEF: The Smart Home Hub BoomAmazon has long dominated the space with its Echo line of products. They’re speakers in the sense that iPhones are phones; while they are premised on a central function, the devices are meant to do much more. Amazon’s speakers not only play music but connect with other devices like smart lights and thermostats, and are designed to interact with users conversationally thanks to the company’s Alexa AI platform.

With Amazon having essentially pioneered the device type, competitors were bound to follow it into this new market frontier. But the competition has ramped up quickly, thanks in part to the ongoing evolution of the smart home and the Internet of Things, and the smart home hub market is now more dynamic than ever.

Here’s how:

Rivals are taking aim at Amazon directly:

Samsung Also Working on Echo Rival

Eufy Genie Takes Aim at Amazon Echo Dot, Using Alexa Tech

Alibaba Preparing its Own Smart Home Assistant, Tmall Genie X1

Google Announces Developments in AI, Smart Home, VR, Wearables

LG Smart Home Robot Can Recognize Family Members

Even companies traditionally outside of the smart gadgets space are jumping into the ring:

Sonos Aims for the Smart Home with Alexa, Spotify Support

Facebook Making Big Push Into Smart Home, IoT Device Market

Amazon, meanwhile, seems to care more about dominating smart home IT infrastructure than devices:

Alexa Device SDK to Extend Reach of Amazon’s AI Platform

New Connected Devices Solidify Alexa’s Central Role in the Smart Home

Amazon Uses War Chest of Voice Data in Smart Home Competition