A new release by provider of communication technology for connected home applications GreenPeak asserts the focus of the Internet of Things should be shifted to a service approach, as opposed to a sole focus on smart home technologies itself.
GreenPeak states that despite the optimism around the Internet of Things and its forecasted growth over the next several years, there are a few market challenges that could impact the predicted growth.
The Utrecht-based company says that lack of consensus regarding the protocols and platforms that will form the base of smart home products. For manufacturers, choosing the ‘correct’ protocols could be a confusing task.
It adds that this lack of unanimity among consumer electronic heavyweights, could confuse customers even further as to what they purchase, or raise the question if they should invest in smart home technologies.
Connected vs. smart devices
Another factor slowing IoT adoption is that “Smart Home and IoT - are ill conceived and not really very appropriate,” states GreenPeak.
The company explains that too many people including industry leaders, media, analysts, and end users have confused the concept 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. Yes, it may be convenient and time saving, but it is not ‘smart’.”
GreenPeak goes on to say that having a smart device, means that it has the ability to “analyze the incoming data and then make a decision to control or activate a device within the home or facility – without having a human being required to press the on/off button.
“Most current so-called smart devices are little more than internet-enabled remote controls.”
GreenPeak suggests that that instead of merely selling “connected things”, IoT solutions should be sold as-a-service.
The company likens this concept to that of a butler. It says that butlers are “service professionals trained to recognise what is happening in the home and to provide the appropriate services. They don’t need to be programmed to open the door or turn on the lights.”
This should be the case with IoT too – according to GreenPeak.
The smart home solutions provider said that the industry should market the IoT as an Internet of Services instead of an Internet of Things.
A company release explains - rather than “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?
"Consumers don’t want a product that requires them to constantly monitor and manage it. Instead, the consumer wants smart services that do all of that, automatically and autonomously.”
GreenPeak notes that customers 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 concludes: “By giving consumers, as well as businesses, governments and corporations what they want – effective service applications as well as complete managed solutions instead of DIY things – our tech industry can further accelerate the growth of ‘smart’ into the world, thereby making our lives safer, more efficient and more comfortable; all for less cost.”