Written by: Amanda Dalton- Senior Account Executive, Racepoint Global Boston
As I left the house this morning, regretting last night’s Hulu binge, my mind sleepily wandered to the day ahead. I continued my walk to work, preparing for the busy workday when I looked at my phone and saw that I had left my bedroom light on. I tapped a button to turn it off and felt a little relief knowing it wouldn’t be using energy all day, bumping my electricity bill up.
However, there was still a lingering worry in my mind that in my sleepy haze, I didn’t lock my front door on my way out…
Many people have experienced this type of morning – where things are a little off. But as I’ve experienced, there are things that can help with making not just these days – but all days – easier.
Roughly one in every four US internet user owns a smart home product. This ranges from alarm systems to lights, to kitchen appliances. However, of connected home users, more than half only own one device.
With just one product, there is likely a single use. Or in the case of Alexa, there is one platform that can connect with multiple devices, allowing different actions from a single command. For example, if configured properly, the phrase “Goodnight, Alexa,” could lock the doors, turn down the lights and lower the house temperature.
Although there is a lot of potential for connected devices, integration between these devices still has a ways to go. Currently, if you want to go beyond the basic level of connection, it takes a certain amount of tech-savviness and time that most consumers don’t have.
Another barrier to adoption is the high price paired with low perceived benefits. Connected products are typically more expensive than traditional products, and consumers just aren’t seeing enough value in them to justify the cost. In addition, many people are concerned about maintaining their privacy with connected devices. We’re currently in a time where everyone is scrutinizing the information they’re sharing with companies, but especially tech companies.
Brands are moving toward solving these problems. They are developing partnerships with other brands to ease integration woes, working to develop better solutions to allow for more connectivity as well as increased security. The smart brands – those that will win – will be the ones that create environments that make our lives easier – those that assist the user, learning their habits and needs. They will make life more productive, freeing up more time to spend doing things they enjoy with the people they love, and give people new and better ways to connect with one another. And with their energy efficiency, connected homes will bud connected cities and ultimately a more connected, more sustainable world. In short, the brands that truly consider the end user and get smart on their wants and needs are those that will succeed in this new landscape.
Although a single connected device can provide convenience in a daily routine, the potential benefits of a whole system working together could be life-changing. The ultimate promise of the smart home will be realized when the home is working on behalf of the user with the technology working so seamlessly that it fades into the background.