There is no doubt that the future of Internet of Things (IoT) is huge and Intelligent Home is one the segments that will grow faster.
To realize the future of Intelligent Home, not only will be critical that ecosystems collaborate among them but also member companies of these ecosystems to adapt to changing needs and priorities of the connected society.
In recent years we have read and listened to respected analysts to comment on the necessary transformation of Product companies in Software and Services companies, and the transformation of Commodity Service Providers with new business models searching for excellence in user experience.
The technology while important, it is only as an enabler. To be successful on building an Intelligent Home will rely on other key components. Super Installers will be one of them. Other key components that are also very important are Improvement in Customer Service processes, new Business Models or standardization that leverage the best technology which will have humans and machines in the same trusted ecosystems.
I provide in this post my personal vision and recommendation about the need of Super Installers to facilitate the quick adoption of the intelligent home ecosystem.
Future Intelligent Home Ecosystem
We’re already seeing the start of the connected home, with products such as automated under floor heating, curtains and music gaining real traction in the consumer world. So you may already have an element of “Internet of Things” technology in your own home. But this isn’t the intelligent home we’ll come to know in the future. In fact, it just skims the surface of the huge potential of house-based technologies.
Truly intelligent homes are coming, and they will transform our daily lives. Industry experts are predicting that the typical intelligent home could contain more than 500 smart devices by 2022.
From healthcare to energy saving, from security to domestic robots, we will need a trusted ecosystem where companies collaborate to make our intelligent house a reality and our lives more comfortable and secure.
How will we use these 500 smart devices in the intelligent homes of the future?
The ecosystem for Intelligent Home Healthcare
Nowadays, we have wearables that allow us to track our fitness levels, monitor heart rates and help us lead a healthy lifestyle generally. In future, wearables will get more innovative with advanced sensors, which will enable them to check and detect abnormal sugar levels, frequent mood swings, signs of depression and send you push notifications for medicine reminders.
On the other hand, these tiny wearables (at this moment in time) or smart sensors (in the near future) will be able to automatically create and send a report of your health to your doctor, who in turn will monitor it remotely and send you notification for a change in your medication or schedule an appointment if needed.
Moreover we know that the elderly population will greatly benefit from “the future intelligent home”. They are presenting the highest risk of facing numerous safety hazards, even in the peripheries of their own homes. As the elderly population is growing, it will be key to be able to respond in a fast, efficient and cost-effective manner to the healthcare needs.
Intelligent Homes should be part of Governments initiatives to reduce this major source of pressure. Individuals in this group are more likely to suffer from chronic medical conditions that require lengthy courses of medication and frequent hospital check-ups, so the clinicians overseeing their care can keep close tabs on their progress.
“Dutch technology giant Philips is trying to solve with its Healthcare Informatics, Solutions and Services (HISS) division. Its aim is to equip patients with the tools and technologies they need to self-manage and monitor their healthcare at home. This approach can significantly cut the number of visits patients make to hospitals.”
To provide health and medical service in our future intelligent homes anytime in regards to prevention, diagnosis, cure, aftercare, etc. it will be needed participation of hospitals, doctors, medical equipment, ambulances, police, and telecommunication companies so the clinicians overseeing our care can keep close tabs on our progress and can take an action if an urgent action is required.
The ecosystem for Intelligent Home Security
Thanks to IoT, the days when you can leave your home without a worry are not far. The moment you lock the house, all the appliances such as the dishwasher, the coffee machine, the heating system etc. will turn off automatically with the exception of the burglar alarm (which will get activated).
And when there is a break-in, the sensors in the burglar alarm will start the audio-video recording system in the house (court evidence at a later time), contact and communicate the data to the nearest patrolling police team or simply dial to Emergency number, thus bringing help at the right time. Even the homeowner will get updates and notifications about the situation on his smartphone.
The sensors in the Intelligent Home will be able to alert you on many other things as well. Let’s say, you forgot to turn off the water in your bathroom when you left for work – a bit too early for your liking – one busy morning. Just as you are about to close the main door, an alarm will go off on your device, alerting you spot on. You can then just go inside and turn the tap off.
If you fail to act upon the situation the bathroom sensor will send updates to the central computer with the water level, water consumption, duration and even the owner’s location as you might be in the back garden preparing a barbeque. The central computer calculates if there are any potential chances of you returning home to turn off the water before it floods the whole house and eventually turn it off for you. And this is just an example. Water, fire, electricity, winds, you will be all covered.
The ecosystem to build services that makes our intelligent homes more secure will be complex and fragmented during time being. Intelligent Home alliances, Intelligent Home devices and home appliances mega vendors, Telecom Operators, Utilities companies and Security providers should work hard to think more to provide an integrated safety, security and privacy intelligent home.
The ecosystem for Intelligent Home Energy
One of the main reason to acquire connected home appliances or install smart meter is the promise that we will save energy. But in the future you will get a lot more from smart devices by connecting them together to communicate and share all the information generated.
One of the main reason to acquire connected home appliances or install smart meter is that we will save energy. But in the future you will get a lot more from smart devices by connecting them together to communicate
Not want to insist more about recommendations and effective control for data security or more wide end to end smart metering system security with smart meter or electricity or water home infrastructure, Intelligent Home appliances that can be controlled remotely and can exposes utility companies to possible fraud, extortion attempts, lawsuits or widespread system interruption
The ecosystem for intelligent home energy will have many challenges to meet but the companies should work beyond regulations to guarantee a more eco-friendly and secure home environment.
Future Intelligent Home a Learning Ecosystem
The future Intelligent Home will be a learning ecosystem that will get insight from your wearable devices and the smart sensors in your property. This insight will reveal patterns of behaviour and different family members’ movements. The super smart part comes when your home uses this knowledge to inform and establish triggers between devices within the ecosystems. Daily life will be transformed in a whole new way.
Only when your Intelligent Home connected devices collaborate with other connected devices in your car, your city or your work is where your home will reach a whole new level of intelligence and become truly life-altering day-to-day.
Your Intelligent Home ecosystem will not be alone
This seamless and worry-free experience in our future Intelligent Homes is the undoubted benefit, but it does come with challenges too. As I mention before, with at least 500 connected devices set to be present in the average home of the future, how on earth will we keep track of them? It’s no wonder that together, your Intelligent Home ecosystem will generate a sea of data on a scale never seen before. How and where will all that data be processed? Your intelligent home alone certainly won’t be able to process it all.
Outside help will be needed to do that. All the data generated by the software behind the smart devices in your home will need to sit and be processed somewhere, and this will most likely be in data centres. And this means we’ll have to share our data.
Highly sophisticated and connected data centres are evolving around the world to cope with the increased data demand from new technologies. Without having this underlying infrastructure in place, we’ll have plenty of intelligent home devices but the potential for this technology to transform our lives will not be realised.
The Super Installer of Intelligent Homes
For weeks now I have a smart meter in my life, to be more accurate in my house. But as I found out that a technician was installing the Smart Meter it is intolerable and must be reviewed for companies that want to embrace the Intelligent Home ecosystem.
Such were the facts. It was 11:00 am. I was talking on Skype with a customer when my home electricity was cutting intermittently and therefore my Internet access and Skype connection was lost. Surprised by so many power outages followed, I decided to find out if other neighbours were also affected. My surprise was seeing a technician replacing my old meter for a Smart Meter. When I asked him why nobody contacted me to inform me about the change and why he did not call me to verify there is not risk if he cut the power for installation he said that I did not know about the process of the company and he did not have my number, to not mention that he was unable to explain me what are the advantages of a smart meter, in fact he recognized the smart meter are failing too much.
This is another example of bad field service provided by a Commodity Service Provider company. I am not an exception. I have the impression that service technicians are, by and large, an inexperienced and clueless tool-carrying bunch. Are these companies really worried about Customer Experience? I doubt it.
This was not the first time I’ve thought about the need for Commodity Service Providers create a service organization in which they give a much more importance to the service technicians for Intelligent Homes.
In a vision where the future Intelligent Home will be learning from multiple collaborative ecosystems to be able to transform our daily life in a whole new way, it will be necessary that every technician know not only how to install, configure or maintain their Commodity Service Providers smart devices but how to integrate and interact with the rest of the intelligent home ecosystems. I call them the “Super Installers of Intelligent Homes”
Assuming that in the Intelligent Home not only the customers but the smart devices and home appliances will report issues, the importance of Super Installers in Commodity Service Providers organizations is key to act in a timely manner to rectify the problem and avoid second and third visits.
If Super Installers must guarantee that any change in smart home devices continue collaborating with other connected devices, with our car, with our city or with our work, Commodity Service Providers have to recruit new installers with the right skills, train them and provide the tools (including IoT, wearables, voice interaction, augmented reality, Leap Motion technology, etc.) and improve customer service processes that will make it possible.
A final advice for Commodity Service Providers: Do not forget that the Super Installer will provide the opportunity to upsell/cross-sell, build loyalty and reduce customer churn, and, frankly, make the customer smile. It is not just about someone showing up at any point in the day to solve a service issue, but its more about minimizing the inconvenience of what is considered to be a painful situation for most customers. And with that in mind it is also the hope of turning a field visit into a positive experience for both your organization and customer.
If you’ve been in smart home field service for the past 15 years, you know that the business is quirky, dynamic and complex. Installation and commissioning, repair and maintenance, retrofitting and modernization of new home appliances and devices are become more complex.
Even for most fans of a brand (and there are many), it will be almost impossible to have in our intelligent homes 500 smart devices predicted for 2022 of a single mega vendor or even a single ecosystem.
The need of Super Installers of Intelligent Homes with the skills and tools and with expert remote support that help them to solve in the first visit the more and more complex issues or problems before their customers even know they exist in our intelligent homes will be key for quick adoption.
In times when we shy away from in-person and face-to-face communications, and it is extremely difficult for organizations to connect with their customers, a visit of Super Installer offers a unique opportunity wherein customers provide a window of time and attention to the Commodity Service Provider organization.
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