i3 - September/October 2019 - 48

Business

By Jim Harris

T EC H ST R AT EG I E S

Smart Home Evolution

The "Internet of Things"
(IoT) is shifting to the
"Intelligence of Things" -
as artificial intelligence
(AI) is increasingly
embedded in the smart
devices in our homes.
For instance, Google's
new Nest Hello is a video doorbell that
pulses in color and records who comes
to your door. It also includes face recognition. When the doorbell is pushed,
it notifies your phone allowing you to
talk to the person whether you are at
home or not.
Once you identify your FedEx courier, when he comes to the door, it will
recognize him.
Flo by Moen is another
example. It's an IoT
device installed on the
water main coming into
your house. Flo can
detect a leak as little as
one drop per minute so
rather than a slow leak
running inside your drywall and resulting in
black mold, you are notified before it is a
problem. And if a water pipe bursts, it will
turn off the water main and alert you.
For the insurance industry, water damage is the leading cause of preventable
claims. Some insurance companies now
give homeowners a discount on their premiums in return for having this device
installed. Flo also was a CES 2018
Innovation Award Honoree.

Smart Home Hub

"Digital assistants have helped to grow
the smart home market," says CTA's
48

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2019

i3_0919_BUSINESS_TechStrategies.indd 48

Steve Koenig, "because they've reduced
the friction of control."
Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant are
the anchors for smart home devices. In
2019, I predict Alexa will break 100,000
skills. Skills are capabilities or voice apps.
For instance, the Dominos skill allows you
to just say "Alexa, order my favorite pizza."
"We are entering the decade of voice,"
says Koenig. These smart speakers have
seen explosive growth: only 8% of U.S.
households owned one in 2017 but that
doubled to 16% in 2018 and will double
again in 2019 to 31%. The installed
base is now 71 million units, according
to CTA's 21st Annual Consumer
Technology Ownership Study and
Market Potential Study.

Smart Thermostats

CTA forecasts that 13% of U.S. households
will have a smart thermostat by the end of

Amazon Echo Skills
100K

50K

0
2015

2016

2017

2018

2019 YTD

2019. Smart thermostats - like Nest and
Ecobee - use AI to save homeowner's
energy use both for heating and cooling.
Google's Nest advertises that it saves
homeowners 10% to 12% of their
energy bill. The average electricity bill
in the U.S. is $112 a month while the
average gas bill is $82. In total, utilities cost an average U.S. family $2,200
a year or $22,000 over a decade so the
savings are significant.

What's Next?

The house itself will become intelligent.
For example, many people love the app
that helps them find their smartphone.
For Android users it's Find my Device app
and for Apple it's Find My iPhone. The
beauty of these apps is even if your phone
is off, this app will turn it back on and get
it to make a noise so you can find it.
Every year more than 430 people die
in the U.S. because of accidental carbon
monoxide (CO) poisoning, according to
the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention. It's an odorless gas.
Imagine a carbon monoxide monitor
and app that can turn your phone on,
in the middle of the night and alert you
to dangerous levels of CO in your home.
This app could save almost 5,000 lives
within a decade. And that's the smart
home of the future - a home that cares
for its occupants.
Jim Harris is the author of Blindsided.
Follow him @JimHarris or email jim@
jimharris.com

Top & Middle: Courtesy of Google. Bottom: Courtesy of Moen.

The Intelligence
of Things

Number of Skills

 S 

mart homes are expected to grow to a $4.5 billion market in 2019 in the U.S., according to CTA. That a 16%
growth rate over 2018 making it a very hot market.

I T I S I N N O VAT I O N

9/9/19 12:16 PM


http://www.Twitter.com/JimHarris

i3 - September/October 2019

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