The smart home has been just around the corner for decades. Time and again, the impending emergence of the smart home was announced. It never quite materialized. While smart thermostats and smart security systems may have some traction, to date, the best bet so far has been the invasion of smart speakers into consumers’ homes. These have been heralded as the final breakthrough of the smart home. While smart speakers on their own may be entering the early market maturity stage, this is certainly not the case for their use with smart home applications. Most people use their smart speakers for information services, rather than for controlling their smart homes. Smart home adoption is far from main stream and demonstrates a generational gap similar to on-demand entertainment in 2005. It took another decade and offerings such as Netflix and Pandora for on-demand entertainment to become truly mainstream. True, technology has made leaps and bounds the last 30 years: the Internet is providing a ubiquitous platform, devices have become much more capable and affordable, user interfaces have become more intuitive, processing power has grown by orders of magnitude, artificial intelligence has become mainstream, and cloud technology is supporting abundant low cost services. Technology is not enough. The ecosystem has to be incubated, develop and used to create solutions that consumers find valuable. This paper will explore the state of the smart home market and the technology supporting it, and proposes an agenda to overcome the final barrier, by transitioning from a focus on smart devices to a focus on smart living based on services and experiences, with smart technologies in a supporting role.
Leonard Lee is the managing director and founder of neXt Curve. With over 25 years as a management consultant and industry analyst, Mr. Lee is a former managing partner with Gartner Inc. and associate partner with IBM and PwC who has advised and delivered emerging technology and business solutions to leading enterprises across a broad range of industries including entertainment & media, telecommunications, financial services, energy, pharmaceutical, and consumer and commercial high-tech. Leonard has extensive experience helping Global 500 companies drive business innovation and value through digital technologies, and has helped top technology vendors with their go-to-market strategies for their digital products and services. His specialties include IT & business strategy and governance, digital business innovation, market strategy & analytics, emerging technology and ICT industry research, business transformation & change management, program management, enterprise architecture and M&A/divestitures. Leonard is an executive fellow with the Drucker School of Management’s Center for the Future of Organization and is also an influencer on LinkedIn with over 180,000 followers and a network of over 8,000 Global 500 executives.
Cristene Gonzalez-Wertz is Global leader for Electronics in the IBM Institute for Business Value; She is responsible for strategic positions for business advantage leveraging emerging market trends and technology issues including data, artificial intelligence, IoT, cloud and digital marketing/digital business. Christene is an experienced Offering Development Management, aligned to Advanced AI and IoT use cases.
Martin Kienzle is the Electronics Industry Leader for IBM Research. He is bringing IBM Research thought leadership to clients, discussing technology and industry trends at meetings with C-level executives. At the same time he is focusing IBM Research teams on the needs of industry clients, and is driving research strategy, with a strong focus on the Internet of Things. In this capacity, he led the IoT topic of IBM Research’s Global Technology Outlook. As a member of the IBM Academy of Industry, Martin also has a cross-industry function, focusing on industry IoT solutions delivered as services, and the new value chains and business opportunities arising from them.
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