Honeywell's (NYSE:HON) Lyric is pretty much exactly like Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Nest -- and that's a good thing. A few years ago, if you wanted to make a great smartphone, the best thing to do was copy the iPhone. The same is probably true for companies looking to secure their place in the burgeoning home-automation industry: Refine what already works and what consumers like.

Honeywell's home-automation division has $16.6 billion in sales, which is about 42% of the company's total. The Lyric's $280 price tag is a bit steep, but if Honeywell can use it as a more upscale offering to groups like homebuilders, that's a lot of potential sales. And even if the Lyric is just a small part of Honeywell's offerings, it's good to see the company taking a leap into home automation.

In this episode of The Next, Motley Fool tech analyst Eric Bleeker and Rule Breakers analyst Simon Erickson talk about the future of home automation, and why "borrowing" some ideas from products consumers are rapidly adopting isn't such a bad strategy.