Why Is Smart Home Technology So Complicated?

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James Temple for Re/code


For years, we’ve been hearing about how the Internet of Things would supposedly help the world live smarter and happier by enhancing everyday objects with Internet connectivity. The results have been mixed.

But for every Twitter-connected refrigerator, there have been less head-scratch-worthy gadgets like the Amazon Echo, a speaker/digital assistant recently beloved by techies such as Too Embarrassed to Ask co-host Kara Swisher. On the latest episode of the podcast, Kara and Lauren Goode of The Verge break down which smart-home tech is a smart buy, and chat with SmartThings CEO Alex Hawkinson about what’s next.

Hawkinson said his company (which is owned by Samsung) sees potential in adopting open standards that many different Internet of Things hardware makers can then share. But some juggernauts like Apple are choosing instead to create their own self-contained ecosystems.

Kara, Lauren and Alex also answered the questions our readers and listeners sent in about smart homes. Thank you to everyone who submitted smart questions — remember that you can always send in questions about any topic to us by tweeting @LaurenGoode,@KaraSwisher or @Recode with the hashtag #AskRecode.

Listen to or download the episode in the player above, or click here to subscribe on iTunes; you can also find Too Embarrassed to Ask on TuneIn and Stitcher.

We have lots more podcasts for your listening pleasure. For instance, Re/code Media with Peter Kafka features in-depth, no-BS interviews with the most interesting people in the media world every Thursday. Click here to subscribe to Re/code Media right now on iTunes.

Kara Swisher will be back on Monday with her podcast Re/code Decode, when she’ll be talking to 23andMe CEO Anne Wojcicki. Click here to subscribe on iTunes. And onRe/code Replay, you can hear all the audio from our live events, including some don’t-miss sessions from Code/Media 2016. To subscribe to that, click right here.