When talking about the Internet of Things (IoT) in the connected home environment, the conversation usually centers around home networks, home management systems and media and entertainment. In the context of the connected home, many people think along the lines of improving the personal experience at home and having easily accessible and ready to be consumed infotainment.
The audience at CONNECTIONS™ last week revealed other IoT homebound interests. The conference focused on innovative technology and business solutions for the connected consumer. Attendees included a broad representation of stakeholders in the connected electronic devices space: the home, the car, integrated devices, and the personal experience domain.
Creating value and improving the homebound experience has emerged as a sector encompassing several industries:
- Internet of Things
- New media
- Digital entertainment and gaming
- Home networks
- Internet and television services
- Software and middleware
- Smart home
- Digital health
- Mobile applications and services
- Consumer electronics
- Home control systems and security
- Energy management
So what do wearable devices have to do with IoT at the home environment?
Wearable computing that are focused health-based applications present many opportunities at home. Several wearable use case are attractive to innovators and new product development.
Stakeholders at the conference found the following as holding the most compelling business proposition:
- Help the elderly/independent living/safety at home -16 percent
- Manage Personal wellness: exercise, fitness, sleep, diet – 31 percent
- Track vital signs for medical conditions – 9 percent
- Improve personal entertainment experience – 9 percent
- Smart home; Smart energy management; Home security, etc. – 34 percent
Nest is an example of a company that creates value for consumers by employing technology solutions that are easy to install (Nest calls it “The ‘out of the box’ user experience”), sleek design and clever functionality that improves home energy management (the Nest thermostat) and safety (Nest Protect – a smoke detector, a carbon monoxide sensor and alarm).
When developing their products, Nest used the concept of intelligent automated processes where the device is self aware of the home environment and the people who reside. Nest products use machine learning concepts by gathering data related to behavior patterns of the habitants, external conditions (like the weather), entry and exit, etc., where the ‘self-aware’ feature does not require user programming. The idea is to create products that are useful and deliver customers experiences that delight. Nest products also integrate wearables. Jawbone can be integrated with the thermostat, so as soon as a person wakes up, the thermostat will adjust the room temperature as needed for morning time (cooler or warner).
Other integrated solutions address a fire at home: Here, Nest Protect can detect the fire and send an immediate alert to a system (by Rachio) that will automatically turn on the yard sprinklers around the house, helping to minimize the risk of the fire spreading to other homes or section of the house and also help reduce the damage to the property.
Another example is vacation time: We all go on vacation. a conference or a business trip and worry about break-ins. In this case, when no one is home, the Nest Thermostat switches itself into ‘Away’ mode, and through a 3rd party system (LIFX) can make it look as if someone is home by automatically turning on and off the lights throughout the house in the evenings.
Mobile devices, especially the smart phone, are used as the top layer interface, which basically functions as remote control. But Smart Watches, the most popular wearable device, can play a role, too, in the home playing field and present huge business opportunities for entrepreneurs and innovators.
We are not far off from the day our appliances will talk to us. To people who are concerned with their diet, perhaps the day your refrigerator will talk to you and convince you to turn around and leave the kitchen might be near. Or maybe your freezer will tell you to leave that tempting ice-cream or even lockup itself after 9 pm to minimize late night snaking.
CONNECTIONS™ – By Parks Associates – The Premier Connected Home Conference featuring consumer research, market strategies, innovative technology and business solutions for the connected consumer.
Nest – The products work with other companies to offer new solutions with the aim of making life easier at home. For integrated solutions and partners click on https://developer.nest.com