A whitepaper produced by Netherlands-based GreenPeak, a producer of wireless technologies for connected home applications and consumer electronics, suggests that due to consumer desire, IoT should no longer be viewed as an Internet of Things, but rather an Internet of various services.
The company believes that IoT is facing a myriad of challenges that are slowing the pace in which it is being implemented into homes.
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The greatest issue right now, according to GreenPeak, is a conflict occurring between leaders in the consumer electronics industry. Those leaders are having a difficult time agreeing on what types of protocols and platforms smart home products should be built around. Caught in the middle of the whole debacle is the consumer, as the indecision has left smart home device developers and the providers of the related solutions clueless as to what needs to be created.
“Whose technology protocols should these manufacturers incorporate into their gear?,” the whitepaper asks. “Should they adopt ZigBee, Apple’s HomeKit, Allseen Alliance/AllJoyn, or Intel’s Open Interconnect Consortium? Other 802.15.4 technologies? There are too many competing choices.”
Also hobbling the rise of the Smart Home revolution is phrasing. Terms like “Smart Home” and “IoT,” according to GreenPeak, are badly thought out. The company claims that the poor word choice has caused many industry leaders, analysts, end users, and media members to confuse the meaning of “smart” with “connected.”
“Most devices – labeled “IoT” or “smart” – are simply connected devices. Just connecting a device to the internet so that it can be monitored and controlled by someone over the web using a smart phone is not smart.”
For GreenPeak, a smart home device is a technology that uses intelligence it has gathered on the habits of the home’s occupants (e.g. when they leave for work, when they return, and what they do when they are home) and autonomously determines what actions to take to take to enhance the lives of the occupants.
The whitepaper also briefly touched on wearable technology, which GreenPeak believes is widely comprised of devises mislabeled as being smart. Just because a fitness band monitors a person’s health doesn’t make it smart, according to the company. Rather, a smart fitness band would gather the fitness data compiled and send it to an online personal trainer who would be able to provide a thorough interpretation of the information, and come up with a plan based on the results.
So what does the IoT industry do to reach greater heights? GreenPeak advises that IoT solutions be marketed and sold as a service.
The company equates its proposed concept to the role of a butler, which the company defines as professional service providers who provide assistance based on the needs within a home. “They don’t need to be programmed to open the door or turn on the lights.”
Like a butler, GreenPeak believes IoT should be focused on a number of services, rather than a single item. “Instead of focusing on a smart door lock, a smart windows sensor, an IoT hub or gateway – we should shift our marketing focus to the bigger picture. What can the Smart Home butler do for us to make our lives safer, easier and more efficient?”
Simply put, the company feels that the average consumer wants smart services that monitor and manage the home independently after a simple installation. A few examples of services GreenPeak provided include home security, home environment control, and the programmed ordering and purchasing of items needed for the home, such as groceries.
“Instead of trying to install and maintain it themselves, many consumers would prefer to pay a small fee to a service provider that would install the devices and network, and then manage it for the resident.” The company adds that the consumer views having to pay a minor fee for the added assistance more favorably then having to studying and finding the right product, purchasing that product, then installing it into the home.
To make the service more affordable for the consumer, GreenPeak suggests that providers could bring in more revenue by collecting data relating to the end users’ lifestyle. That data would then be sold to cover the difference of making the service cheaper.
The company concludes that by providing consumers and other end users such as businesses more comprehensive management solutions and services instead of do it yourself (DIY) products, smart products will be more quickly assimilated into daily lives.