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Home Connectivity Alliance Created to Solve Interoperability for Smart Appliances


Leading global manufacturers form HCA to enable connected device interoperability across brands in smart home

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One of the biggest problems in the smart home space has been the lack of interoperability. We know because we have been helping you navigate these issues for years. Last year Matter was formed by other leading manufacturers to help create a standard for consumers which could help overcome connectivity, security and operational issues with smart devices. This year, Home Connectivity Alliance (HCA) is launching but will focus on developing guidelines specifically for smart appliances, HVAC systems and TVs.

HCA Membership

Who are the member companies of HCA? The launch membership for HCA includes leading manufacturers in the connected home space: American Standard Heating and Air Conditioning, Arçelik, The Electrolux Group, Haier, GE Appliances, Samsung, and Trane Residential.

HCA Goals: Device interoperability to expand consumer choice

HCA’s goal is to provide consumers with more choices for their connected home through C2C (Cloud-to-Cloud) interoperability, supporting the compatibility of devices across brands. Yoon Ho Choi, President, Home Connectivity Alliance and Global Head of Planning & Partnerships, Home IoT Business, Samsung Electronics, said: “A simple and secure connected home has been a long-standing dream for the industry, and it is time to make it a reality. Consumer homes are filled with long-life appliances and systems across multiple manufacturers. Consumers should have the flexibility to purchase and operate multiple brand appliances that work together without locking the user into a single platform. We believe that manufacturers, who truly understand their consumer needs, lead the way for building an interoperable connected home ecosystem.”

Samsung's new Bespoke fridge can be ordered in a range of colors, including rose pink glass as seen here Samsung

Uncompromising safety and data privacy

Along with interoperability, consumer safety and data privacy are key pillars of HCA’s mission. Driven by the exponential growth of big data, consumer privacy and data protection have become top priorities for device manufacturers. New smart features on connected devices (like remote diagnostics, remote start/stop, etc.) provide a new layer of convenience. However, unauthorized access to such features would lead to consumer dissatisfaction and mistrust. Connected device manufacturers hold the responsibility to protect consumers from these risks and to safeguard data generated by these devices.

In addition, complex smart devices with moving and mechanical parts–including those with high voltage electrical components and heating elements–require safety expertise from companies that understand these devices best. Leveraging the collective background, experience and knowledge across its manufacturer membership base, HCA will prioritize consumer safety in the digital landscape.

Katherine Shin, Secretary at Home Connectivity Alliance and Vice President of Customer Experience for the Residential HVAC and Supply business at Trane Technologies, provides the following: “Forming this alliance allows us to re-envision the power of smart and personalized comfort. Imagine a scenario in which your home appliances and HVAC system recognize your family’s lifestyle patterns and automatically adjust their settings to maximize comfort, reduce energy consumption, and deliver the ideal smart home experience. Not only is this beneficial for the consumer; utility companies can better manage peak demand and manufacturers can provide more energy-efficient products. Together we are building a more sustainable future. We also recognize that smart products collect a lot of data, which makes this scenario possible, yet must be utilized in a secure environment. HCA aims to be the collective voice for home electronics data privacy, where we will agree upon industry standards to protect our consumers’ data.”

Innovation and thought leadership in the connected home space

HCA members will have the opportunity to innovate, influence industry trends, share expertise across peers and become leaders in expanding the connected home ecosystem.

Through collaboration with other standards organizations and governing entities, HCA will foster fair competition and drive innovation to provide the safest, most feature-rich connected home experience for consumers. You can learn more about the Home Connectivity Alliance, membership benefits and how to join by visiting www.homeconnectivityalliance.org.

The HCA is a good move for both the industry and consumers. We look forward to working with the HCA to help consumers research, discover, buy and connect with the smart devices that work best in their smart home.

And don't forget to check out The GearBrain, our smart home compatibility find engine. It's our solution to interoperability and will help you find smart devices that work with HCA appliances as well as any of your existing connected products or Apple HomeKit, Samsung SmartThings, Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa enabled devices.

The GearBrain, First Compatibility Find Engine for Smart Devices www.youtube.com

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