The first thing they need to do is agree on a standard communication model like CEC or SNMP that can work basically across manufacturers and be extended with proprietary functions.
That solves the IOT as a service becoming obsolete because everyone would offer a basic service.
Then tackle devices that would actually benefit, Irons & laundry seem to be the Beau of the ball but I reckon Ovens, TVs and heating are the eligible bachelors. Look up recipes for a full meal , send to oven and get prompts to put the spuds / yorkshire puds in with pictures / video on the tv & the oven heat changes when appropriate.
Have a look at the ESP266 and realise the extra cost is pence.