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The Next Technology Status Symbol: The M2M-powered Ultimate Smart Home – Complete with My Top 10 Smart Home Wish List (Part 2 of 2)

Posted by Norman Miglietta on 12/07/2011

This is the second part of a two part Blog – click here to read Part 1

Not to be left behind in the push toward owning the “ultimate smart   home,” I recently installed a new security system that allows me to   check its status, view the system log and turn it on and off remotely   from my iPhone.  Paying up for this “luxury” versus having a second   keypad installed enables me to command the system from my second story   bedroom (the primary keypad being located next to the kitchen door on   the way into the garage, a pain to activate once I am already in bed)   was actually less expensive than installing a second keypad and provides   much more flexibility and control.  Now I can check on my house when at   business or family functions that take me thousands of miles from   home.  See one example from Alarm.com.

Looking at the current list of home automation technology services, I   have been underwhelmed at the options and features available as an   “entry level” consumer; nervous about being price-gouged; fearful of the   chaos and disruption caused during installation process; leery at the   “unknowns” related to the total cost of ownership (cost of service and   support – what happens when something goes wrong!?), and; surprised by   the lack of technology standards and true integration.  Clearly this is   bleeding edge stuff and unlike Bill Gates, I don’t have $100 million to invest in outfitting my home.

So, what do I envision or desire in a smart home?

Here’s my Top 10 Ultimate Smart Home Wish List

  1. Plug and Play — I want the technology to be plug   and play – to integrate seamlessly and to WORK – period.  It should   require the least amount of retrofitting for an existing home – no more   than the amount of effort and disruption to install a decent home   theater system.
  3. Subscription Fee Consolidation — I don’t want to   get nickeled and dimed by monthly subscription fees. Ideally, I want one   consolidated bill per month that contained all the subscription content   I have ordered (my XM radio, premium Pandora, Cable/Sat TV content,   Netflix, broadband/wi-fi connections so everything connects etc., etc.)   and any additional network services required (satellite, cellular).
  5. Voice Commands — And I want everything to be voice command enabled.  Talk about flattening the learning curve   on adopting the technology – I can still barely use the basics on my   state-of-the-art smartphone – if I had to invest significant time to   learn a new set of commands, I would be very frustrated (easy button   please!).
  7. No Additional Hardware — I DO NOT want to have the   technology require any additional “wear-able” hardware in order to   operate it, though I could consider compromising on having the system   distinguish different users via a thin client on their cell phones.   However, I am convinced there are other, biometric ways for the system to distinguish users via a combination of motion detection and voice command (see #3 above).
  9. Command Center Interface — I want a command center   type of interface that tells me the status and verifies the connectivity   of all my devices graphically.  If my HVAC system needs a new filter,   or my sprinkler system needs repair, or my server needs an injection of   RAM, I want an indicator light and message on the command center just   like I get the indicator light in my car when it needs an oil change.   Oh, and I would like it to tell me in English versus some techno-geek, engineering code that I have to scrutinize and translate via the user manual to understand.
  11. Remote Access — It needs to have remote access   capabilities for the command center – preferably from any web browser   but alternatively from thin clients downloadable on any flavor of   smartphone so I always have control via remote access.  Even better –   the home could be tied into the GPS on my phone so it knows when I am   approaching and can turn on climate control, entertainment, illumination   controls, de-activate my security system, etc. prior to my driving into   my driveway.
  13. Proactive trouble-shooting — If something goes   wrong (this is software, after all) I want the device/command center to   take charge of reporting the trouble and starting a diagnostic process   in which it “self-heals” – downloading the latest firmware or software   patch and restarting and reconnecting itself.  If a more extensive   repair is required, report it to the central station office and put the   next available appointment into an opening on my calendar.
  15. Security — It must be secure with protective   monitoring and safety controls in place to protect against both   unauthorized access and user error or misuse (e.g. when my 5 year niece   old tells the house to go to 100 degrees – over-ride that command, gratuitous 2001: A Space Odessey reference here).  Ideally it has built-in, biometric voice recognition software tailored to a specific individual so a super user is recognized by his/her voice and has master user privileges for set-up, command privilege hierarchy and control.
  17. Intelligence — I want it to be intelligent enough   to “learn” from activities preformed, by user, so that it can suggest   activities or settings and distinguish individual users (my 6 year old   son’s television channels or favorite Internet sites – with parental   controls – distinguished from those of myself or my wife).
  19. Function Properly — Lastly, it needs to WORK.  As a   former product manager who has written dozens of product requirement   definitions (PRDs to the geeks out there like me), I don’t want to hear   about missing features or incompatibility issues due to manufacturer spats or lack of standards.  I am less concerned about whether or not my   refrigerator can sense that we’re running low on milk and alert me or   re-order from a grocery delivery service (if any of these services   return in my lifetime) – I just want delivery on the promise of the   ultimate smart home.

Here’s to the future of home automation and showing it off to your   friends – here’s to the ultimate status symbol – the M2M connected smart   home!

By Stein Soelberg, Director of Marketing

Stein leads a team whose responsibility is to own the branding, advertising, customer engagement, loyalty, partnership and public relations initiatives designed to propel KORE into the 21st century. With over 15 years of technology marketing experience in the business to business software, Internet services and telecommunications industries, Stein brings a proven track record of launching successful MVNOs and building those brands into leaders.