How Compatible is Your Walled Garden?

Published by Cirrent team August 15, 2014

In the Smart Home and Consumer Connected Products markets, "walled garden" refers not just to security, but also to ecosystems of products that work well together. Apple has a "walled garden" with the wonderful interoperability between the iPod, iPad, iPhone, iMac, and iTunes. Throw a PC in there and things just don't work so well.

Today, walled gardens in the Smart Home have real value for users. In the Smart Home world, where people expect many devices to work together seamlessly, having a set of "curated" devices that are engineered to work together is fantastic—the user experience can be dramatically better. The simplicity and elegance of interoperability trumps the downside of limited devices with the current options. Walled gardens will be attractive for users for some time.

Walled gardens are also attractive for the larger companies in the market. If their ecosystem becomes dominant, they can create a strong defense against new competitors.

Some companies will fight for "openness" to break up walled gardens, and others will use walled gardens to provide a better user experience. Consumers ultimately want both—choice and a good user experience—and companies that can provide both at the same time will thrive.

At Cirrent, we're focused on eliminating friction in the market, which ultimately is beneficial for companies large and small. Our strategy isn't built on creating walled gardens, but on allowing all companies—whether focused on walled gardens or open source—to delight their customers.