early access for megacorps
Yesterday Nest announced their API (Finally!) but as someone working on a hardware startup in a related space, something about how they did it smelled and it seems to be a common practice.
Nest announced that they had already started on integrations with Mercedes, Whirlpool and a number of other larger names. In a similar manner, Apple’s HomeKit announcement was followed up by Honeywell announcing Lyric which already had a head start with HomeKit. Sure, there are major reasons to have strategic partners as it would be hard to become the homes hub without others integrating, but the early access feels wrong, and if not wrong, just kinda shitty. It has echoes of exclusivity which if you ask me is one of the lynchpins of the cable industry preventing what we all know is superior and inevitable.
In particular, its worrisome as its well recognized that the home is one of the
next newest digital frontiers. We are going to be inviting Nest (Google by transitivity), and Apple into our homes more than they already are and trusting them with our security and privacy more than we already do. This doesn’t feel like the transparency that I would expect from someone who could make my life transparent to advertisers, criminals and the Orwellian NSA…
If these companies were small, stealthy and thought their livelihood was threatened by exposing their API to everyone upfront maybe I would buy it. But when you are Google or Apple it mostly just seems like a cronyism and corporate cartels.