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How Brave Is Your Toaster? It Could Be Getting Smarter, Thanks to Startups

Outside of our homes, we’ve all been downloading the newest apps, connecting our email to our phones to our instant messages to our cars. Inside the home, our appliances haven’t managed to hop aboard the connectivity train as effectively.

While many of today’s “smart” appliances and gadgets offer technologically-advanced functionalities on their own, they still have a way to go in terms of communicating with each other, functioning as an integrated domestic unit. If you buy them all from the same manufacturer, as The Verge notes, appliances might work together in concert—otherwise, you’re pretty much out of luck.

“If The Jetsons represents the dream of the smart home—one that knows who we are, where we are, and what we want—then we still must be living in the town of Bedrock,” the Verge article states.

That’s not to say that entrepreneurs aren’t working on it.

According to TechCrunch, a new generation of startups is tackling the concept of the home as a data product, in spite of the challenges that concept presents. Battling larger corporate giants with already-established presences in the average homestead, startups find themselves “in the fairly unusual position of having to not only execute and build consumer brands, but also out-innovate dynamic incumbents.”

The field of “smart homes” simply hasn’t had the time to fully mature, according to sources like Sky Net Chronicles. They see Google’s recent acquisition of Nest as a sign that the industry is still growing. The highly-publicized acquisition has helped to bring attention to the smart-homes space. According to the article, “whatever money Google spends marketing Nest and the concept of the connected home will also help educate consumers about other products in the space.”

From there, it’s just a small jump over to fully connected commercial buildings, ushering in a startup-drive era of smart cities.

Liz Elfman

Liz Elfman is a writer, editor, and content strategist.