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Friday, December 18, 2015

Insights from WeatherBug Home: Connected services must fit seamlessly into consumers' daily lives

Amena Ali, Senior VP and General Manager of WeatherBug Home, answers the following questions prior to the 2016 CONNECTIONS Summit at CES, hosted by Parks Associates January 6-7:

What is the most important next step to engage consumers in smart home solutions, connected entertainment services, and/or value-added services like tech support and connected health?

We are still in the very early stages of an “energy” smart home, so we need to continue to focus on consumer education around the tangible benefits of safety, comfort and energy use insights available through an integrated solution. We are very excited by the favorable response we have received from consumers on our ability to inform them about the home energy efficiency and normative comparisons. We have not only delivered predictive energy usage and costs to our customers, but we have enabled them to identify root causes of their home energy usage, whether that might be the amount of insulation or shading, or their thermostat setpoints and schedule over the course of the day. We need to continue to engage and inform consumers about their comfort and energy use, leveraging the power of big data and the analytics to do so.

What is the biggest challenge your company faces in 2016?

We have defined an approach that truly delivers on the promise of IoT. Our integrated solution, which combines a variety of sensor data, our data processing capabilities and ability to present our intricate data analytics in an easy to consume, actionable way has put us in a very unique, leadership position in the market. We need to continue to work with our existing, and identify new, innovative partners that will support our commitment to drive continued innovation that will deliver engaging content to the consumer, delivering a superior service and realize the benefits we promise. Our challenge is maintaining our pioneering, leadership position in the market.

What is the biggest driver for the connected consumer market?

The biggest driver for the connected consumer market involves the usability of connected services and integration into consumers’ daily behavior. Connected services must be organic and fit seamlessly into consumers’ daily routines and lives.

What are the most important initiatives your company is taking in 2016?

In 2016 we will continue to build on the promise of IoT, by integrating new smart home device data into our solution. We have only scratched the surface of the analytics we can perform on a home. We will continue to integrate our unique analytics and signaling detection capabilities with other smart home devices to deliver new, superior analytics that provide comfort, savings and peace of mind to consumers.

Describe your vision for the smart home and entertainment markets in 2020.

Everyone is working on more intuitive mobile applications that help consumers manage and control their smart home devices, which is great and a logical evolution. But our vision extends beyond setting changes from within an app. We want to develop a deep understanding of the home and a family's energy usage patterns so we can automatically manage energy usage, optimizing for variables such as the weather and bringing new economies to the overall energy grid management. Today, by and large, homeowners have to program their thermostats to save energy when they are not home. Given weather impacts, presence and geo-fencing data, there is new opportunity to bring intelligence and automation to home energy comfort and cost management to deliver on the promise of what a smart home could do.

Amena Ali will be appearing on the panel "Monetization Strategies for IoT and the Connected Home" on January 6 at 9:15am. Other confirmed speakers on the panel include August, Belkin, EnergyHub, PlumChoice, and Zonoff.

CONNECTIONS Summit is the premier IoT networking event during CES each year. For more information on attending, visit www.connectionssummit.com.

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