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Got Nest? Insurance companies reward smart home adopters

Smart-home devices already come with the benefit of saving money or time, but now some insurance companies will reward customers for adopting smart-home technologies at an early stage.

U.S. insurance firms are leading the charge, offering discounts to home owners with smart smoke detectors, thermostats, and automation devices. Hopefully the insurance firms will lead by example, pushing other insurance companies to offer rewards for early adopters to smart-home technology.

The growth in the smart-home (Internet of Things) industry is expected to explode in the next five years, leading to a $30 billion (£20 billion) industry by 2019. Leading analysts believe Apple's HomeKit and Google's 'Works With Nest' platforms should be the foundation to success.

Nest Labs has already provided two of the most popular smart-home devices, the thermostat and smoke detector, alongside acquiring home security service Dropcam for £369 million in late-2014.

Other 'Works With Nest' devices like the August smart door lock, Phillips Hue bulb, Withings sleep system and LG smart washing machines all connect to the main Nest application, but currently do not work in sync with one another.

Google has bright hopes for the future of smart-home, considering the amount of investment (£4 billion and counting) the search giant has put into the industry.

Apple, on the other hand, is moving a bit slower due to lack of smart-home hardware to lead the charge. The HomeKit platform has a few takers, but does not have the industry credibility Nest established when it successfully launched its own smart-home devices.

Other providers like Samsung and Qualcomm have tried to set up Internet of Things platforms, but for the most part these platforms and standards seem convoluted and not adopted by the major smart-home providers.