The new marketing pitch for why a consumer should join the smart home revolution may be as simple as money. As in saving it, that is. A new report just out concludes that home automation through the Internet of Things could reduce home energy consumption by 10%. Savings would come from better managing household actions, specifically with connected thermostats, window covering controls, circuit-level control, HVAC zoning and lighting controls.
A lot of the creating of a smart home for a consumer is hardly a do-it-yourself proposition. It looks like the most consumer satisfaction in smart home device setup comes from others who provide for the installation of devices rather than from consumers doing the tasks themselves. While some consumers are up to the challenge of setting up their own smart home devices, the most satisfaction seems to come when service providers do all the work, based on a new survey.
Many things will become Internet-connected, but the verdict is still out on whether consumers want them or not. One of the latest home device connections is the Brita water filter that links to Wi-Fi. The idea is that the pitcher will order water filters from Amazon once a certain amount of water goes through the filter being used.
While still the potential darling of retailers, beacons are moving way out of that arena. The little radio-transmitting devices, which can either quietly or blatantly tap into authorized smartphone apps to trigger things or gather information, are graduating into all areas of life. Or at least to any areas where consumers may go.
The Internet of Things and personalization are a good mix. Knowing the customer in the moment is a key part of this, of course. This means using a ton of data - in real time - to determine a person's at-the-moment needs based on past activities. But the path to personalization is hardly an easy one, since legacy systems and organizational structure often are in the way.
Advertising in cars may not be just around the corner. One of the promises of self-driving cars is that advertising or some form of interactions with the would-be drivers and passengers would be appropriate to occupy the time if not the attention of those in the car. Various entities, including the auto industry and tech companies like Google, are going full speed ahead to create cars that drive themselves.
Pepper the robot is coming. The humanoid robot is only new to the U.S., having already been placed into more than 125 Softbank Mobile stores in Japan, where customers are greeted and welcomed by the robot, which also has been accepted into Japanese homes. Pepper is a humanoid robot that can recognize key human emotions and adapt its behavior to the mood of the person it's dealing with.
Someone had to come up with this. At first I thought this latest IoT innovation was a joke since it sounded like something out of the Onion. But there is an official announcement of it and quite a bit of media coverage, so here it is. Again, if true. A new Internet of Things banking platform was just launched by Intelligent Environments.
Buttons, buttons and more buttons. This is what at least one part of the Internet of Things is coming to. It started with the Amazon Dash button. The idea was that any consumer could use the button to easily order - as in one tap - replenishment things, like laundry detergent or another household item that's about to run out.
The so-called smart home is still a work in progress. Connecting something in a home to the Internet is not so overwhelming a task. For example, with home networks, many consumers have figured out how to get their smart TV connected to that same network.