One of the biggest growth areas in technology right now is in “smart” products for the home. These are products such as thermostats, refrigerators and light bulbs which connect to a home network (and therefore a smartphone) both for the purposes of monitoring and automation. Each of these products contains its own array of sensors and is programmed with the ability to perform certain tasks either remotely or on its own.
Smart devices are typically connected to a central hub that is part of a home wireless network, and as such can also be connected to, and controlled with, a similarly connected home security alarm panel. And this one connection opens up a world of possibilities in functionality.
Becoming Solutions Based
Through the history of home products and appliances (with home security being no exception), both companies and customers have been more focused on products themselves. The draw of a product was in its features – the power on a vacuum cleaner, a fridge with a built-in ice maker, etc.
The Millennial generation on the other hand, is far more focused on solutions than on products. They want to know what a product can do for them, or how it can solve a particular problem. Now, the focus is less on “I need a new thermostat,” and more on “how can I save on my energy bill?”
In addition to the basic, built-in functionality provided by these smart products, integration with a home security panel creates the ability to enable advanced, individualized functionality through special programming. This allows for custom-tailored solutions to a customer’s individual problems.
Each smart product creates its own opportunities for new solutions. Take for instance, a connected light bulb. On their own, connected light bulbs generally come with features like the ability to turn on and off remotely from a smartphone, or to turn on and off at a scheduled time each day. However, a specialized custom solution allows for far more specific functionality. Say that a homeowner is going on vacation and puts their panel into vacation mode. Any connected lights can then be programmed to turn on and off at specified times every day so that the appearance is given that someone is home. Lights can also be turned on when a motion sensor is tripped, or when the alarm is triggered. And that’s just lights.
How about the problem of looking after your family even when you can’t be around in person? Imagine a scenario where your child gets home from school and uses their specific digital key on their phone to unlock the connected lock on the front door. That same action can disarm the alarm, turn on the lights, raise the temperature on the connected thermostat, and send you a text alert so you know they got home safe.
The possibilities are endless.
According to a study by Zion Market Research, the most common reasons why people are switching to “smart” connected technology in the home goes way beyond mere convenience. Other top motivating factors include having better energy efficiency, home security, entertainment, productivity, and health monitoring.
So truly, it isn’t about the products, but is about the solutions. The key to making these products work for you in a way that can provide real solutions is in realizing that they aren’t just connected to the internet or to a phone. They are connected to each other. And together, they can form an integrated network where each part plays off of each other’s strengths in service of the whole. This way, your home can not just be smarter, but better, and safer.