Power and automation leader, ABB, consumer electronics company, Bosch, and networking giant Cisco plan to establish an international joint venture that will develop and operate an open software platform for smart home devices and applications. The partner ecosystem which is still subjected to approval by antitrust authorities will be open to all appliance manufacturers and service providers and is expected to commence operations at the beginning of 2015.
According to a joint statement by these firms, for a home to be "smart," it is crucial that all the appliances and systems in the home – e.g., the washing machine, heating units, lamps or window blinds – can simply and securely exchange data with each other as well as with smartphones and tablets. The aim of the joint venture is to develop and operate an open software platform that will enable this simple exchange of data and compatibility between different manufacturers' devices.
In addition to developing and operating a software platform, the companies intend to invite appliance electronics manufacturers, home automation vendors, and service providers to join the business ecosystem.