Connected homes could serve as a springboard for consumer acceptance of the Internet of Things, but IoT’s success – inside or outside the homestead – will depend more on providing value-add to customers. And standards, possibly.
That’s according to experts discussing the prospects of the connected home at a roundtable organized by sister publication Fierce Wireless on the sidelines of Mobile World Congress 2015 in Barcelona Wednesday.
Asked if connected homes will kickstart IoT, Alex Brisbourne, CEO of KORE Wireless Group, said that at the very least connected-home apps will put customers in a more receptive mindset. “As people use these apps, it brings a new level of awareness of what ‘could be’. That will help lower the barriers.”
Kevin Petersen, president of AT&T Digital Life, added that consumer awareness was crucial – not just of the technology or gadgets, but the benefits of using them. “We’ve got to raise awareness that we’re solving real problems and creating real value.”
Alex Hawkinson, founder and CEO of SmartThings, agreed, but noted that creating value is easier said than done. “It’s hard to get it right for the consumer, especially when you look at security and privacy.”
Hawkinson added that it’s better to let connected-home services develop organically than dictate to consumers what they can do. “You want to try and start with an open platform that’s easy to use, then step back and see what people come up with, see what unexpected use cases emerge.”