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Apple’s Smart Home Efforts Clouded by Amazon, Google

About three years ago, Apple had big ambitions for HomeKit, the company’s software for controlling lights, locks, and other appliances with iPhones or iPads. The company even promised to showcase HomeKit-certified gadgets in every Apple store, according to one third-party product developer. The display area would be built to resemble a part of a house, with live demonstrations of all the devices synced together.

But that didn’t happen and Apple’s grand home-connection plans have stalled, even as competitors like Amazon and Google have raced ahead. That gulf will be highlighted at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week, where both Google and Amazon will have a bigger than usual presence at the show.

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“Whoever controls the data going into these systems will have more intelligent AI,” said Matt Crowley, CEO of Vesper, an Amazon-funded maker of a type of ultra low-power microphone. “This is why we’re seeing such an aggressive land grab.”

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