Independent Living in the Smart Home - Insights from Notion

by Parks Associates | Jun. 7, 2019

Prior to Parks Associates’ 23rd-annual CONNECTIONS: The Premier Connected Home Conference, Brett Jurgens, CEO, Notion spoke with the firm’s analyst team to his thoughts on independent living in the smart home.

Brett participated on the Insurance and Smart Home Productspanel on Wednesday, May 22, at 2:15 PM. Panelists who joined him on this session included:

Drew Doleski, Sr. Product Mgr. - IoT, Connected Home, Verisk Analytics  
Yuval Harry, Head of Partnerships, Hippo Insurance
David Wechsler, Executive Director Channels and Partnerships, Comcast

Q: What role will “white glove” or “last mile” services play to help onboard mass market consumers buying smart technology through new channels, such as homebuilders, insurance, energy, and healthcare?

A: Notion has partnered with a handful of insurance providers. In these partnerships, home insurance companies provide their customers with Notion Smart Home sensors so that they can prevent in-home incidents before they happen. Depending on the customer, some of them are fairly new to IoT smart home products, which can lead to difficulty in installation (even with such a seamless installation through Notion’s app). In San Francisco, Notion just partnered with Sheltr to send a trained Sheltr "Home Pro" to install a complete Notion Smart Home System at users homes, ensuring it is set up and working properly. Sheltr then sends a service professional to the residences for an assessment and preventative maintenance to proactively mitigate and identify potential issues within the Notion-monitored homes. We feel that this is a great option for users who are unsure of how to use the technology, or where they should be placing their sensors. It also gives insurance providers peace of mind to know that their customers are using the tools given and using them in the correct way.

Q: As the number of connected devices in consumers’ lives increase each year, what solutions need to be created to allay rising consumer concerns around data security and privacy?

A: Ultimately, it’s up to the companies providing connected devices to instill trust in their business models and approach to data security. Unfortunately, there have been various reports surrounding some companies that showcase how their devices have been listening in when they aren’t active. These types of revelations not only ruin the company’s reputation, but put a damper on the whole industry. There is a bigger conversation that needs to take place among the prominent companies in the space, but there has already been chatter about government intervention to solve this issue.

Q: With the rollout of 5G technologies nearing, what impact will this technology have on connected consumers?

A: 5G will push mobile wireless technology into the future, and will greatly improve upon today’s standards. Download speeds could be 1000 times faster, latency may fall from 50 milliseconds to under 1 milliseconds and network availability may increase upwards of 99 percent. For connected consumers, personalized customer journeys will certainly improve as AI tools will receive and spit out data at a faster pace, making it easier for brands to connect with consumers instantly. This will also happen in the IoT space where IoT device manufacturers will have greatly improved customer service due to the “fast data” provided by 5G.

Q: What innovations have you seen that will address the existing needs of the elderly to enable independent living in the smart home?

A: Long-gone are the days of the Clapper and LifeAlert. Now, aging parents will have a whole new arsenal at their disposal to allow them peace of mind, and ease-of-use for the things they need both in their home, and in the outside world. Internet-connected sensors have been used for various activities, but now they’re getting smarter and are offering more monitoring capabilities outside of motion. Caregivers, who’d prefer not to connect cameras throughout their parent’s homes, should look into sensors to stay on top of parent’s activity without feeling like the all-seeing eye of Sauron. According to a report from Aruba Networks, 87 percent of healthcare organizations will have adopted IoT solutions in the next year. The report lists patient monitoring at the most common form of connected devices today, and this is sure to grow in the coming years. Similar to how a sensor detects a water leak, healthcare is looking for the same method to inform them, and the patient, of health issues before they arise. Sensors can also help give caregivers a sense of if aging parents are taking their medicine, or eating, when sensors are placed on medicine cabinets or pantry doors. Though not at the full potential yet, caregivers should keep their eyes open for the future in this space. The idea of video cameras inside the home is off-putting to most (which is why sensors are a great solution). But for home security and decreasing mobility, they are great. With companies like Ring and Nest providing these tools, video cameras can alert to suspicious activity and give parents a live feed of folks ringing the doorbell so they don’t need to get up when the Girl Scouts come knocking. Both the caregiver and the parent can have access to the information, even the notifications that take place at night, where video footage is recorded and stored for later viewing.

Q: How will the continued rise of DIY security expand the smart home?

A: PCMag released results from a survey that showed consumers trust smart home security devices the most to keep their houses safe -- even more than police patrols, traditional locks and alarms, and neighborhood watch groups. As smart home tech continues to evolve, our residences will be more secure. Nest Secure, SimpliSafe, AT&T Digital Life and Notion are just a few of the top-rated smart home security devices.

Q: What strategies are needed to achieve a unified experience in the home for consumers between smart home and connected entertainment products and services?

A: Smart home products and services need to be open to working together in order to create this unified experience. Some – like Alexa and Sonos – have already forged a partnership, but the big players also need to be willing to work with the other products in the arena. Until that time comes, smart home tech providers should look to IFTTT, like Notion has, to find ways to connect their products to other smart home devices for seamless use and connectivity.

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