Philip Steele, nCube Home founder and CEO attended the Smart Home World 2016 event that took place at Crystal, London last 21st and 22nd of June. The event was held during 2 days where the most influential senior level speakers were invited to discuss about the technological advances in connectivity making the smart home increasingly secure, reliable, simple and affordable standing as a real mass market proposition.
Everything from energy to insurance, technologies and industry size were presented and debated, but most interestingly, these following 3 points were re-iterated over the 2 days:
“Show the magic”, Experience has shown that the consumers love the technology when they see something happening as if by magic, and smart home companies don’t do that enough. “It’s all about the Service and not the device/technology”. Talking about how the technology works is somehow easy but turning that into a valuable service is the hard part. “Fast or Slow, Big or Small, it’s all changing rapidly” There were quite a few big figures presented but at the same time, there’s a lot of change going on.
From all the interesting presentation and debate over the 2 days agenda, 3 presentations stood out the most.
Gemma from MorePork in New Zealand show their very quirky TV adverts - really quite an entertaining and amusing way to get the smart home message across. Home security isn’t an issue in New Zealand but they’ve still managed to engage consumers through smart security as a starting point in a clever way.
Neetika from Power Stream in Canada presented what they’ve done with thermostats reacting to variable energy tariffs, solar panel and battery integration, real-time data presentation and even getting to electric vehicle integration. That’s a lot of technology but it’s the resulting service benefits that materialise - most efficient use of energy tariffs and that starts to feel like magic. For the grid provider each home that has an electric car charger looks like an additional home on the street in terms of energy demand - that starts to have a big impact on substation capacity so intelligence built into the car charging cycles through variable tariff opt-in means a whole set of cars in a street or block can all be set to charge at different cycles magically.
Finally, Simon Harrison made a fantastic point that many of us are guilty of - we have great graphics of homes with icons about energy, insurance and apps but forget to show a single PERSON - the real customer who gets the benefit of everything we’re doing. Oops.