A few weeks ago I shared a blog post asking if Apple was racing towards the smart home.
It turns out, the answer to that question is a GIANT, yes!
Apple is indeed jumping into the smart home arena. To make the market a bit more exciting, Google is doubling-down on their smart home bets as well…and a slew of big name companies are piling on – Microsoft, Cisco, Samsung…and the list goes on.
As my previous post indicated, the big question on my mind is:
- How will the smart home push from these two giants impact your [smart] business?
I’ll share my analysis in a minute, but first, let’s take a look at the new smart home arms race building momentum.
I’ve waited a few weeks for a follow-up post because I wanted to collect feedback from the media. Wow, has there be A LOT of feedback!
When I made my first smart home post on this very blog almost two years ago (first post!), the media coverage was few and far between. Now? Talk of the smart home is every where we turn. Thanks in large part, to Apple and Google making a full-force assault on the smart home.
Exciting times indeed!
Here’s a quick rundown of some of the most prominent/best smart home coverage I’ve seen since Apple made their BIG smart home announcement…
1. TheWireCutter: Great overview of all of Apple’s recent announcements. If you’re an Apple fan, you’ll love the overview, but the focus is definitely on HomeKit:
- HomeKit has the potential to turn your iPhone/iPad into the all-in-one smarthome controller of your dreams.
- That’s a pipe dream for the time being. This is something that will depend highly on the outside companies that choose to integrate their services with HomeKit.
- It’s not a device (or set of devices) offered directly through Apple—so we’ll have to wait and see how this plays out in the future.
- One major smart device maker that was conveniently left out of the WWDC keynote was Nest. We are concerned that Nest may never integrate with HomeKit due to the rivalry between Apple and Google.
2. Wall St. Journal: The writer spent time with the CEO of SmartThings, a DIY smart home vendor, to witness a day in the life of a smart home. The writer was less than impressed. [Side note: SmartThings got it's motivation from a vacation rental!]
- Frankly, other than people who have very specific reasons to add automation to their homes, I have no idea why anyone would do it[.] As countless reviewers have noted, even when smart-home technology works as advertised, the complexity it adds to everyday life outweighs any convenience it might provide.
- Editor’s Note: I hear ya WSJ, but as I noted in my previous “Apple” post: I’m not sure it matters. The smart home is cool, affordable, easy to implement, and offers the potential to save time and money. Once you cross the tipping point, the masses get what the masses want.
- My emphasis added above. Let’s come back to the “specific reasons” idea in a minute.
3. Time Magazine: Time also paid a visit to the SmartThings CEO. Popular guy. Popular house. Time offered some similar thoughts to the WSJ article, but one aspect Time dug into a bit more was security, or lack there of.
- Editor’s Note: Hacking happens, and WiFi is insecure. If you run the IoT through WiFi, there’s a security risk. Did you catch the key? WiFi.
4. PC Magazine: While we’re discussing hacking, PC Mag sees an ugly trend developing with WiFi-based home automation…
- Once they start getting hacked there will be no stopping it. Nobody will be bothering to update the devices to block unwanted access—until they come home in the middle of summer with all the heaters on full blast, the lights flashing on and off, and the coffee pot on fire. This is exactly where this all leads. And it only evolves to this because people are too lazy to get up and turn off some lights or set a thermostat.
- Editor’s Note: A bit comical. And scary. But the interesting trend I see (and have seen for 2 years) is that people (media, consumers, business owners) have not yet realized the benefit BEYOND the primary residence. I’ll get to that point in a moment.
5. Forbes: Forbes asks “Why Did Google Buy Dropcam?” Good question Forbes. Quick answer: to beat Apple. Google and Apple are stepping out on the proverbial limb with these smart home moves. This is not their forte. But that is not stopping the momentum.
- As Forbes notes, Nest has already stumbled – it is six times as expensive as the average thermostat sold in that channel, far more complicated to install and run, and far less reliable. In addition, the Nest Protect smoke and fire detector, was even prettier, sold for 10x the price of the average product in the space, and was unreliable enough to be recalled soon after making its debut.
- Editor’s Note: Choose wisely. This is an early stage in smart home development. Do you want to bet on a company (even if they are big and well-known) that has little experience and demonstrated their ability to stumble?
7. Apple vs. Nest Labs: The Battle for Home Automation: This article discusses the potential “end game” for these market giants. However, the point that I’d like to note is that everyone (especially the big guys) is solely focused on where you live. What about where you work?
8. Mobile Business Insights: A relatively technical piece discussing the lack of common platforms/protocols for the Internet of Things (IoT) and the value of consumer choice, but I whole-heartedly agree with the closing sentiment – my emphasis added:
- While Home Kit is likely to be a home-automation walled garden, let’s not underestimate the impact of Apple’s entry into the home automation market. Their brand capital, customer loyalty, retail network and legions of developer and device partners represent something of a juggernaut. The Home Kit announcement will generate significant media-coverage, consumer interest and presumably adoption, which ultimately is good for everyone.
Whew, that’s quite a recap! And that is just scratching the surface of the smart home media coverage taking off.
Editor’s Analysis – The SMART Business is Taking Shape
I’ll try not to be long-winded with this analysis. If you’ve followed this blog, perused the website, or digested the notes I’ve made in this post, you can probably guess my position:
- Smart home technology is having an amazing impact on businesses. Now.
As noted in the Forbes article, there are “specific reasons to add automation,” and businesses handle these specific reasons every day – tracking employees, managing energy, monitoring systems, streamlining processes, cutting costs.
Smart home technology is super cool at your house. But do you need it? Probably not – not today anyway.
But business? Yeah, businesses NEED smart home technology to provide adequate security, differentiate from the competition, cut costs, and improve operations.
PointCentral smart control solutions is helping to improve business operations across the country. Today. Not some far off future waiting to be developed. Now. As I bang on this keyboard.
A quick example: Tomorrow is 4th of July. A huge amount of travelers are headed to vacation rental homes to enjoy a holiday vacation. PointCentral is helping vacation rental managers across the country manage a wide variety of homes across vast distances – all through the magic of smart home technology.
A “specific need” to automate being used to it’s full potential!
Smart Home Control – for Business!
PointCentral is focused on bringing the amazing residential smart home technology to commercial businesses. And the impact is BIG.
The smart home offers an amazing impact on business operations when you take the residential benefits and multiply it by 2, 200, or 2000+ properties…all controlled from one dashboard.
Home automation on an “enterprise” level is pretty amazing.
I’ve discussed the great benefits of smart home control for businesses in a variety of previous posts. Rather than rehashing the ideas here, I’ll cut it short and list related posts below.
In short, Apple’s entrance to the smart home market is big. It will push adoption past the tipping point and add further credibility to the smart home.
From a business perspective, this means each of your clients, employees, guests, vendors (I.E. everyone) will start to recognize the benefits of the smart home and will grow to expect it.
For example, a lack of control over who can access your properties and when will not be tolerated much longer – this is no longer a satisfactory standard of care.
- I.E. traditional mechanical keys that can be lost, stolen, copied, and shared will no longer be acceptable.
But this is is a good thing. This gives businesses the motivation to improve:
- Energy/Cost Savings
One final note to keep your interest peaked. How is PointCentral able to focus on “enterprise” smart home technology while everyone else is only focused on your primary residence?
By the way, when will the mass media realize the benefit of smart home technology to businesses?! Major publications are missing the forest through the trees.
- A New Way to Do Business: Commercial Property Automation
- PointCentral is Uniquely Positioned to Provide Commercial Property Automation
- Home Automation Can Save Your BUSINESS Time & Money
- Use Technology Hacks to Improve Your Company’s Efficiency
- [Case Study] Smart Control = Smart Business: Reduce Costs, Increase Security & Improve Business Intelligence
- WiFi vs. Cellular = Home Automation vs. Property Automation
Vacation Rental Posts:
- Vacation Rental Insurance: Where Does Coverage End & Liability Begin?
- Your Guests & Homeowners Want it Too!
- Mechanical Keys: An Unnecessary Vacation Rental Liability [White Paper]
- Control ALL of Your Homes from ONE Dashboard
- Your Vacation Homes are Targets: The New Standard of Care & Security for Vacation Rental Management
- Milestones: Is Bluewater Vacation Rentals the Largest Smart Home Installation in the World?!
- [Case Study] Energy/Money Savings with Vacation Rental Smart Energy Management