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Alarm.com and LiftMaster are using the Cloud to achieve interoperability.

Alarm.com, a home security service provider, recently announced a new partnership with Arrayent’s customer LiftMaster, enabling Alarm.com customers to integrate their LiftMaster garage door openers (GDOs) into their home security systems. This is big news for the connected products industry for two separate but related reasons. One, it’s practical proof that connected product companies don’t need interoperable hardware to integrate with each other. Two, it demonstrates how two companies with very different product portfolios can use the Cloud to achieve integration.

Perhaps most importantly, this partnership proves that connected product companies don’t need interoperable hardware in order to integrate with each other. Just look at how LiftMaster and Alarm.com connect their products to the Internet. LiftMaster GDOs use an in-house wireless 900MHz protocol called MyQ and connect to the Arrayent Cloud via Ethernet gateways plugged into the back of consumer routers. Alarm.com works with security panel companies that use Z- Wave and proprietary 345MHz protocols and connect to their own Cloud via a cellular control panel.

Historically, common knowledge claimed that the only way to achieve interoperability was to have all connected products using the same LAN protocol. The challenge is that there is no single general-purpose LAN protocol that can meet the needs of every connected product in the home. For example, although Wi-Fi is ubiquitous and has great throughput, it doesn’t support battery-powered applications.

Thankfully, the cloud computing revolution and the smartphone revolution have joined forces to make these low-level hardware concerns irrelevant. Consumers don’t care about what’s going on in the hardware of connected products. As long as they can control all their connected products from their smartphones, they’re happy.

The lesson to take away from this is two-fold. One, don’t worry about choosing the “right” home network solution, just go with the one that makes the most sense for your business needs. Two, focus your efforts on your company’s Cloud presence. It doesn’t matter how your products are connected, only how accessible your products are via the Cloud.

By Kayce Basques