Many high tech business leaders are now competing in the IoT (Internet of Things) smart home market by providing innovative products/services such as Samsung SmartThings and Apple HomeKit. Patent information can provide insights regarding the state of the art of the IoT innovations for smart home applications (home automation, energy/utility management, home security, lighting system).
To find the leading innovators in the IoT smart home applications, more than 1000 published patent applications and issued patents in the USPTO as of Oct. 20, 2015 that are related to the smart home applications are reviewed. Nearly 400 patent applications are selected as the key patents for the IoT smart home applications. In number of patent applications, Google (including Nest Lab) is the leader followed by Samsung Electronics, General Electric, LG Electronics, Allure Energy and Honeywell. Among smart home applications, home automation is the most patented application field.
To assess the commercial importance (e.g., potential commercial implementation or licensing potential) of the top 10 innovators, citation based Amber Cluster Search was used. Identified smart home patents of a specific patent owner were used as an input to the cluster search to evaluate commercial importance. All the values of commercial importance are aggregated for a specific patent owner. Thus, higher in commercial importance value for a patent owner means higher in commercial importance. Samsung Electronics is the leader followed by Ecofactor, Honeywell, General Electric, Google (Nest Lab), Philips and LG Electronics.
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