Nexxt, Tuya and Microsoft team up to take smart home tech to the next level

Silicon Valley can be weird in that companies will actually collaborate from time to time. Where most tech companies are seriously paranoid — hello, Apple and the “walled garden” strategy — some companies, after a lot of courting and dating, will actually combine forces to make something better.

That seems to be the case with Nexxt Solutions, one of the more comprehensive manufacturers of smart home security solutions, as well as Tuya, a smart home platform that has injected itself into a wide variety of products and manufacturers, and Microsoft, which you probably know because of that whole Windows thing. They’ve announced they’re teaming up, and the partnership looks to be centered around power and security.

Nexxt is working with its partners to power and bring to market a new line of cloud-connected, highly secure products including smart plugs, power strips, smart bulbs and home security kits that include window, door and motion sensors which can be monitored and managed from anywhere. Yes, there’s an app. In this case, it’s the Nexxt Solutions Home App, which going forward wil be powered by Tuya and hosted on Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing service.

“The Internet of Things, along with the power of A.I., is forever transforming the way we interact with our devices,” said Bruno Garcia, vice president of sales and marketing at Nexxt, in a release. “Home automation is shaping the future, as devices are no longer simply responding to our commands, but are increasingly interacting with us, making people’s lives not only easier and more secure, but also environmentally friendly.”

We’re not sure what that environmental component refers to, but the Nexxt Solutions Home App can control a whole bunch of compatible devices, which is one of the major challenges in a smart home industry where it seems like every single manufacturer is dependent on their own dedicated app for remote control. Nexxt’s app will run on smartphones or tablets and engage with a homeowner’s Wi-Fi connection to control all compatible devices. One of the nice things about the gizmo is that it doesn’t require a dedicated hub to operate, and it can easily be shared with family and friends. Naturally, the developers have also built in voice activation so you can turn it on via Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa through your smartphone or smart speaker.

“The future of the smart home is streamlined integration,” said Alex Yang, chief operations officer and co-founder of Tuya. “By combining the operation of several home devices into one app powered by Tuya, Nexxt Solutions is creating a powerful, simple way for people to control their homes and get the most out of them.”

Integration of separately manufactured devices across a single control platform could well be the next big step in the evolution of the smart home. Homeowners have shown a surprising embrace of smart home technology, but as more and more manufacturers enter the market, the simplicity that smart home technology promised becomes more and more fractured. If nothing else, this collaboration represents a major stride toward consolidating control of smart home products into a platform that’s a little easier for most people to manage.

Microsoft says the Nexxt Solutions smart home devices are currently being sold to retailers in 40 countries around the globe including the U.S., Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Chile, while Nexxt Solutions says it is proactively expanding its portfolio of smart home products to include coffee makers, vacuum cleaners, camera-outfitted pet feeders and more. The company anticipates having more than 40 smart home devices that will work with the Nexxt Home App by mid-2020.

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