The Internet of Things space is crowded and growing, but companies like Apple (AAPL) and Alphabet (GOOGL) could stand out in 2016, especially in the ‘connected home’ market. ‘It’s a crowded marketplace,’ said Shahid Ahmed, emerging technology and IoT practice leader at PwC. ‘Clearly, Apple and its HomeKit is an interesting development.’ HomeKit is a platform that helps control one’s home right from an iPhone and was unveiled in 2014. Aside from Apple, Ahmed points to Google parent company Alphabet (GOOGL) as a possible formidable competitor. Google owns Nest, the maker of thermostats and smoke detectors that are connected to the Internet. Also, established IoT player Control4 (CTRL) is building vertically integrated solutions for high-end houses, Ahmed said. ‘I think you’ll have an ecosystem of companies coming together – and we’ll see a lot of partnerships and mergers and acquisitions,’ he added. ‘It’s a very fragmented market and it needs to get consolidated.’ TheStreet’s Scott Gamm has details from New York.