Turning the Smart Home into Smart Business
The future is here. What is a smart home and how can the Internet of Things help us drink more water? Jonathan Album, Global Marketing Director at Strauss Water, explains how new technology can successfully make a difference to our lives.
We all remember from our childhood futuristic television programs like Dr. Who, Buck Rogers and The Jetsons where the world was depicted as being run by robots, accessible through remote controlled screens and cool gadgets would get your work done for you in a matter of seconds. Well, welcome to the future! The driver towards the futuristic world is known as IOT (Internet of Things). Today not only computers are connected to the internet but also millions of everyday objects. Home appliances, consumer electronics and even vehicles have network connectivity enabling them to send and receive data.
By 2020, the IDC (International Data Corporation) estimate that the IOT market will be worth $7.1 trillion dollars and Ericsson estimate 50 billion connected devices which will be more than the number of computers, smartphones and tablets combined!
Whilst the connectivity of products will provide unprecedented levels of data regarding product usage and performance, the secret to success in this exciting new category is turning this advanced technology into real consumer benefit. And this consumer benefit needs to be accessible with little effort, expense or technical expertise on the part of the user.
For example, a smart refrigerator that requires you to scan all contents before storage is less likely to succeed as the user expects a seamless experience where the user works to make life easier for the appliance and not the user works hard to activate the appliance.
There are a number of exciting examples of IOT applications already on the market: The Nest thermostat that was recently acquired by Google for $3.2B is an electronic, programmable, and self-learning thermostat that automatically optimizes heating and cooling of homes and businesses to conserve energy.
The Jawbone Up wristband helps you understand how you sleep, move and eat so you can make smarter choices. The new app displays details from your wrist band and delivers insights, celebrates milestones, and challenges you to make each day better. Accomplishments can also be shared with friends on-line. The HomeChat service from South Korean electronics firm LG allows owners to communicate with their domestic appliances by SMS. Users will be able to send commands and receive status updates from a range of LG’s smart products including refrigerators, vacuum cleaners, washers, dryers and ovens.
Strauss Water recently revealed the world’s first smart water bar at the Aquatec Exhibition in Shanghai. The prototype version was developed to have clear consumer benefits – Save time, save money and drink more water and included a number of exciting features including remote control, energy optimization, automatic updates regarding consumables status, automatic reorder and personalized daily water consumption targets and tracking.
So the future is here but success is by no means guaranteed. Only those companies and brands that harness the technology in order to provide genuine consumer benefit that neatly fits into the consumer’s way of life will be the ones who translate the smart home into smart business.