Picture of Google Home device connected to mobile phone.

Everyone (ok…well most of us) will recall the great battle of Betacam vs VHS. Despite Beta being a superior product, VHS gained the biggest momentum and a single format was chosen as the ‘norm’.

Fast forward to 2019 and it’s fair to say that things work differently today. Rather than developing a competing product that has ZERO compatibility with anything else, we’re seeing more and more integration.

While it’s growing…it’s far from where it needs to be.

For many, the technology is still confusing and happens too quickly to keep up. Some may say ‘too bad’ but tech companies need to be mindful that if the audience can’t keep up, it will simply stick with what it has!

The secret is integration. You’ll here more and more about IOT (the Internet of Things) and really that’s all about making more ‘things’ integrated so we don’t have to have so many separate ‘bits’.

I’ll use my Dad as an example. Luckily he’s a pretty savvy 70+ year old. He has Solar Power with a battery backup, remote door lock, bluetooth sprinkler systems, bluetooth lighting, wifi controlled blinds and wifi controlled ducted air conditioning.

BUT…he also has 7 different apps to work all that!! CRAZY!

The next step in all of this is integration. The seamless meshing of these separate technologies to work so easily that they just fit into our every day lives. We’re already seeing this emerge with products such as Google Home or Amazon’s Alexa. These both use voice to break down the barriers of technology and apply a more human interaction to the technology.

Forever and a day, technology has demanded that we work by it’s rules. Voice commands start to allow us to continue being ourselves and the technology has to interpret. Now we’ve all seen how badly SIRI can get it wrong but we have to remember how bad mobile phone reception was and the speed of the internet back in the dial up age.

Technology will get better. But the real question is…will it be ‘for’ the better?

I believe that the level of integration is the key. Having more pieces of technology willing and able to communicate with each means that we’re not fixed to a single infrastructure. It’s no secret that I have more Apple gear than you can poke a stick at and this certainly makes like easier with integration. But consumers don’t want to align with a single brand when they can’t offer everything. Apple don’t make fridges and lighting equipment and actual television (yet…) but scalable integration with all technologies is where we are headed.

It takes a change of mindset for both the creators and the consumer. I am sure we will continue to see disruption in this space but we’ll also start to see the formulation of ‘open source’ standards. This was the success of the internet and allowing multiple browser companies to succeed. Without it, developing a website would be shy on impossible!

Like life itself, if we all work together, we get more done. Let’s watch as technology starts to put this philosophy into action…