Race Toward the Connected Home Shipments of devices related to the connected home will increase at a compound annual rate of 67% over the next five years. Roger Ferguson MentorMate Alumni Remember when the color would wear from a light switch or home control panel lever from years of use. They’re gone, or — they could be if manufacturers and technologists work together to synch home products with apps that give consumers a greater measure of control over functionality via their mobile devices. This idea of synchronicity between residential devices or systems and consumer control is known as the connected home, one component of the growing “Internet of Things.” In a report forecasting growth of demand for the “connected home,” BI Intelligence predicts shipments of related devices will increase at a compound annual rate of 67% over the next five years. According to the report, that’s faster than even tablet or smartphone growth. To reach this ideal, we can’t look to app developers to create technology platforms that make use of the limited functionality available in systems currently. We must look further up the funnel to manufacturers. When manufacturers adjust systems and devices to render them more compatible with control via mobile devices, only then can a truly connected home become a reality. The truth is, manufacturers are not moving as quickly toward wide scale acceptance of the connected home. My message to these lagging adopters, “If you don’t act and begin integration with changing products and systems to fit within the connected home, your competition will.” Simply providing the automation of processes isn’t enough. The solutions manufacturers offer consumers must truly add value. A connected home needs a connected interface. Specifically what’s lacking is being able to integrate the automation of household functions access through one centralized view on users’ smart devices. To accomplish the integration of this functionality developers must have a common set of integration principles. Without it, we’re left with 20 apps all available to use in controlling household processes but no motivation to open a single one. The report predicts that home energy equipment, safety devices and security systems will drive growth in the connected home category first — including products like smoke detectors and thermostats. These devices will serve as a gateway to greater end user adoption. Growth in devices to serve the connected home is exciting and all but unavoidable. BI Intelligence estimates $61 billion in revenue will be attributed to connected home product sales this year alone. Consumers purchase products that provide them the most value, whether that value be provided in cost savings or mobile functionality. These predictions suggest that more and more end users are prioritizing high degrees of connectivity and the ability to adjust systems or components in their home anytime — even miles away. Manufacturers who have not yet begun to adapt or strategize to bring your business in line with the connected home trend ask yourself these questions: If consumers value connectivity, where do your products or systems fit in? How can they be integrated with mobile control of their functionality? Are you building solutions that meet consumer needs and differentiate your products as a manufacturer that will grow your market share over the long term? Do you understand who your clients really are? Is your digital or product strategy aligned with the end consumer? Answer these questions and you will begin to set your products apart bringing them in line with the changing tides of consumer needs. But, you will also position your brand to be viewed as a technology-first provider and consumer advisor — worth more than any short term dip in sales during the transition process. Ultimately, users want a connected home that will give them the feeling of confidence that their loved ones are safe and secure even when they can’t be there to monitor smoke detectors and carbon monoxide levels. Have questions about designing or building apps to serve the connected home? Talk with us. MentorMate advocates and supports manufacturers with the foresight to think ahead and work towards solutions for safe, secure and integrated homes. Image courtesy of Denys Prykhodov. Tags MobileIoTDevelopmentCross Platform Share Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Share Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Sign up for our monthly newsletter. Sign up for our monthly newsletter.