The home services market is getting a little more crowded these days, but the players getting into it aren’t the ones you’d expect. Recently Comcast and AT&T launched home automation services aimed at dominating home services on all fronts — a complete package that includes home security, automated smoke detectors, and even HVAC services, in addition to the phone, Internet, and cable TV they already pipe in.
It seems clear that home services is quickly becoming “the next big thing.” This week, news broke that the popular Nest Thermostat will be offered through Apple’s online marketplace. That’s right, even Apple is selling home services products (Nest isn’t an Apple product, although it was designed by a pair of former Apple engineers).
Apple, which is notoriously picky in its product offerings, clearly saw something in Nest and the growing HVAC/home service market and jumped on board. GigaOm’s Katie Fehrenbacher called Apple’s move to sell Nest thermostats “the most important move ever for a next-generation digital thermostat,” which, honestly, we’re not sure what to make of. “If Nest can make its learning thermostat a cool and coveted item (like the iPhone), it could change consumers’ relationships with thermostats and home energy and could lead to significant reductions in home energy consumption,” she went on.
We’re still in the nascent stages of the 21st-century HVAC, but with the innovative minds (and money) from Silicon Valley and these multi-billion dollar companies seemingly focused on in-home services, it could mean dramatic changes to the entire sector.