More recently, a raft of new smart home products have been coming to market, both from traditional consumer electronics companies and startups alike, helped by the rise in crowdfunding via platforms like Kickstarter and IndieGoGo. Unlike the uber smart home systems traditionally sold by smart home specialists, however, these new generation of products tend to take a small pieces, loosely joined approach that makes it easier and cheaper to dip a toe in the smart home waters.The disadvantage, of course, is that discrete devices, by their very nature, don’t always talk to one another, requiring a separate app each to operate, and aren’t nearly as smart as they could be. But that too is changing.For iOS users, Apple has unveiled HomeKit, its own somewhat locked down platform for integrating third-party smart home devices, letting them interact with each other, as well as with Apple’s Siri.Google-owned Nest is also opening up through its “Works with Nest” developer program, which positions the company’s Nest Learning Thermostat as the hub of the smart home, enabling other apps and devices to utilise the smart thermostat’s motion sensor and feed into its self-learning capability.Others vying to become a smart home standard are Quirky’s Wink, and Samsung-acquired SmartThings. The Internet of Things ‘recipe’ service IFTTT is also doing a good job at providing some level of interoperability between disparate smart devices.It’s still early days, however, and this is reflected in the cobbled-together nature of my own smart home setup. It currently sports a Hive smart thermostat from British Gas, two sets of smart lightbulbs from Philips and LIFX, a Belkin smart plug and motion sensor, and an Apple AirPlay-enabled home audio system.But, while my approach has been tentative so far, I’ve already experienced enough first-hand to know that, just like other enabling technology before it, the smart home has the potential to change my world for the better.