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Smart home technologies have a data problem, so read up before making recommendations

The advancement of smart home technology has allowed homeowners to their home through thermostats, smoke detectors and security cameras that can be monitored from afar. How are they dealing with all that data?

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Technology has connected users more closely to products such as wireless printers and computers in their home for several years. The advancement of smart technology has allowed homeowners to their home through thermostats, smoke detectors and security cameras that can be monitored from afar.

Analytics and collected data

The services provided can be fine-tuned to your use through predictive analytics by using data collected from these products. Most notably are the smart thermostats including Nest Learning Thermostat, Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat and the ecobee Smart Si Thermostat, each of which can save you money and allow you to remotely set the temperature in your home. Nest is on track to expand its reach in the smart home market as discussed in detail in this recent article by Richard Nieva of CNET.

Smart tech’s greatest challenge

While the smart technology is still in its infancy, appliance brands are jumping on the bandwagon to enhance their customer experiences through interconnectivity. The greatest challenge for many manufacturers is how to turn data collected into relevant information, as eMarketer’s Maria Minsker addressed in her interview with Christine Robins, president and CEO of grill manufacturer Char-Broil in this recent article.

Robins stated that the “long-duration cooking products have the most valuable potential for connectivity” which encompasses the smokers and roasters that Char-Broil offers. Their products rely on home wireless system as well as a cloud-based system and Bluetooth connection, and uses predictive analytics to predict and alter cooking times.

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For their data infrastructure, Char-Broil partnered with Dado Labs, a Platform as a Service (PaaS) that integrates consumer appliances with smartphone and tablet technology. Robins stated in the interview that Dado Labs handled “the electronic module, all of the firmware, the cloud-based capabilities, the storage and the analytics components. They also helped us develop the mobile app”.

Selling an experience

In response to inquiry on how marketers are leveraging the data to deliver a better experience, Robins stated that “there are intelligence, memory, and social usability elements as well” but goes on to reassure that they are not initially concerned with upselling or cross-selling. “We just want people to have a great brand experience without feeling bombarded,” Robins concludes.

The future of the smart home

This point of view is quite the opposite of Nest, who released their Weave software in October, which has 12,500 developers working on connecting over 80 products with Nest devices. “We’re going to see a [move] toward an ecosystem. Suddenly everything would be interconnected and controllable for Nest” stated Brian Solis, analyst at the Altimeter Group, in Nieva’s article.


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Written By

Debbie Cerda is a seasoned writer and consultant, running Debra Cerda Consulting as well as handling business development at data-driven app development company, Blue Treble Solutions. She's a proud and active member of Austin Film Critics Association and the American Homebrewers Association, and Outreach Director for science fiction film festival, Other Worlds Austin. She has been very involved in the tech scene in Austin for over 15 years, so whether you meet her at Sundance Film Festival, SXSWi, Austin Women in Technology, or BASHH, she'll have a connection or idea to help you achieve business success. At the very least, she can recommend a film to watch and a great local craft beer to drink.


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