“Tech giants have been trying to figure out the world of Internet-connected home gadgets — everything from light bulbs to door locks to thermostats,” Aaron Tilley writes for Forbes. “The market is still early, but seems to hold enough promise that companies like Apple and Google have been trying to figure out angles into it with their own ecosystems.”

“But lately, Amazon is taking up more and more of this conversation, according to a new study from market researcher firm Argus Insights. Amazon Echo, a $180 tube-shaped speaker that users can command with their voice, has become one of the most popular platforms for these kind of devices,” Tilley writes. “Based on 576,000 smart home reviews gathered since January 2015, Amazon Echo has become the most discussed smart home ecosystems. Apple’s HomeKit program follows in close second. The ‘Works with Nest’ program for third-party integrations with Alphabet-owned Nest products is in third place.”

Echo incorporates Amazon’s voice-based intelligent assistant, Alexa, and provides a sort of ‘ambient intelligence’ that makes it easy to interact and control devices around the home. It’s a lot simpler than most smart home devices that require the user to pull out their smartphone, unlock their phone and find the app to do something as simple as turning on a light.” Tilley writes. “‘Amazon is really the first one to nail far-field voice — that’s a non-trivial problem,’ said Stuart Lombard, president and CEO of Ecobee, the maker of a WiFi-connected thermostat. ‘We see voice being a much bigger way of interacting with home devices.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple’s got some work to do in many places, not the least of which is HomeKit. Hopefully, WWDC and the rest of this year will see Apple with their foot on HomeKit accelerator. Otherwise, there’s soon going to be an Echo in here.