In 2011, Google Android@Home proposed to connect every device at home to Android App. Then smart home is equal to intelligent hardware +App.
Now, almost all house appliance can support APP. You need to download and install app for TV set, fridge, washing machine, water heater and even range hood. The more intelligent house appliance, the more app for installation and less memory left for the phone.
Is the app controlled home equal to smart home? If you are home, you may turn off the light with switch or remote instead of app. App controlling is an extra way of remote controlling for house appliance. But it is not real smart home.
Some manufacturers have developed smart home hub and use one app to control all house appliances. Seems it enables the home automation system communicate with people. It is the best smart home system we can have on the market. But APP is not the house appliance itself and can not self identify the situation and self adjust. We are still expecting more intelligent, humane and emotional smart home.
We think it is available. The development of artificial intelligence technology will enable the device understanding people needs. The device can see (Gesture Recognition), can listen (Voice Recognition). For example, the air conditioner can sense environment and auto adjust temperature, the washing machine can auto identify cloth type and adjust washing way, the TV set can catch audience’s interest and auto switch program.
Many companies such as IBM, Microsoft, Amazon, GE etc. are thinking and developing it. Echo is a smart speaker which can listen to people and play music. Sol is a smart lighting from GE. Sol can report weather forecast, turn on /off the light by people voice order and play music as well. Front part smart hardware adding big remote resource consist the intelligent home kits.
So, smart home is not equal to APP controlled home. Without app, without smart phone, the direct communicable device is the smart home device.