Discussing Interoperability of Connected Products with Yonomi

by Parks Associates | May. 15, 2018

Prior to Parks Associates’ 22nd-annual CONNECTIONS: The Premier Connected Home Conference, Kent Dickson, Co-Founder and CEO, Yonomi shared his insights with the analyst team to discuss interoperability.

Kent will be participating on the Security and Seamless Experiences: Interoperability and User Interfaces panel on Wednesday, May 23, at 2:00 PM. Panelists joining him on this session include:

David McCall, Senior Strategic Planner - Smart Home Group, Intel Corporation; Chair - Strategy Work Group, Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF)
Daniel Moneta, CMO & EVP Corporate Development, MMB Networks
Chris Ince, Z-Wave Business Development Director, Silicon Labs
Dhruveshkumar Patel, CTO, VOLANSYS Technologies

Given the continual increase in the number of connected products, how can providers ease consumer concerns associated with data security and privacy?
Security and privacy need to be primary concerns for connected device manufacturers and service providers in the smart home space. As these devices become integrated into our homes and our daily lives, they will be transmitting more and more information — data about the state of our devices, presence, video, audio, passwords, device commands, and more. Manufacturers and service providers need to take that responsibility very seriously.

The number one thing that manufacturers and service providers can do is to put proper protections in place. Encrypt appropriate data and use credential and token best practices. Hire security experts and ensure that your partners also have embraced those best practices. As a cloud platform provider for companies like Schlage and Gentex, we work very closely with our partners on security here at Yonomi.

The next thing manufacturers and service providers can do is communicate their data policies clearly, and communicate with customers when something goes wrong. We’re seeing this issue hit social media companies and retailers hard right now, and consumers are demanding better. The connected home industry needs to get out in front of the security issue so that customers know that they can be trusted.

How will artificial intelligence (AI) impact the smart home, IoT, and connected entertainment landscapes in 2018 and beyond?
We’re seeing AI start to play a role in the smart home, but let’s not kid ourselves—it’s still very rudimentary right now. Device manufacturers like Nest and ecobee have been introducing machine learning into their products in recent years, and virtual assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant are bringing more intelligence into the home.

But AI has a long way to go before offering an experience where our homes know us and understand us. At Yonomi we’re working towards a future where you don’t always have to tell your home what to do, it knows your preferences and your home’s unique characteristics and adjusts preemptively.

In the future, we think AI has the potential to expand this type of personalized experience outside the home. When you walk into an Airbnb or your favorite hotel chain, the room should know all of your favorite smart home routines and intelligently adjust to you.

What effect will the implementation of 5G technologies have on connected consumers? What effect will it have on providers?
We’ve been on a path toward ubiquitous connectivity and the arrival of 5G will kick that into hyper-drive.

Not only will your computers and handhelds be always connect to a high speed network, but our cars, wearables, pets, kids will be too, opening a lot of new possibilities. Furthermore, cities will become more instrumented and automated, autonomous vehicles will become better and safer. It’s going to be any exciting and transformative time!

How might blockchain impact the smart home landscape? Is it worthy of all the hype?
Security and privacy are going to be some of the foremost concerns for the smart home industry in the coming decades. While they’re both certainly important today, expansion into at-home healthcare, age-in-place solutions, childcare, and more will require strict requirements about the handling of personal data.

To the extent that blockchain can help protect consumers’ personal data and prevent security breaches, it’s extremely attractive to the smart home industry.

Have you seen any new cutting-edge innovations that could tip the smart home scale from early adopter to mass market adoption?
Affordable voice assistant devices like the Amazon Echo Dot and Google Home Mini are serving as a gateway for mass market adoption of the smart home experience. Consumers are then adding compatible light bulbs, thermostats and smart locks to make their homes smarter.

I believe that the biggest roadblock to mass market adoption of a true smart home experience has been the issue of interoperability. It’s been too difficult to go out and buy off-the-shelf products and get them to play nicely with your existing devices. And not only do the devices need to work together seamlessly but the user experience has to be one in which the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. The result of becoming more connected must be more convenience and simplicity. That’s the problem we spend our time solving.

Will the rise of DIY solutions significantly impact the traditional security landscape?
The trend towards DIY is definitely disrupting the traditional security landscape. We see this everyday with our partners and with the companies that are interested in Yonomi One and Yonomi ThinCloud. Customers are able to walk into their favorite electronics shop, pick up some cameras and sensors, and have a security solution set up at their home in under an hour. Traditional security companies can’t compete with that convenience.

So rather than try to lure customers away from the DIY market, security companies need to lean into this with new services and solutions. You’re not going to win customers with long-term security contracts anymore, but you can achieve this same “stickiness” by offering services like greater smart home automation and control. If a service provider can offer an app that can integrate security cameras from two or three different brands and make them work together seamlessly with connected sensors and light bulbs, that’s something that today’s customer will run towards.

How can companies capitalize on consumer interest in a home insurance-smart home connection? What potential impact will that interest have for business models on both sides?
Where we’re seeing consumers get excited about insurance products in the connected home space is all around accident prevention and mitigation. While there’s an obvious incentive for insurance companies to use connected device data for calculating rates, it’s tough to convince homeowners to just hand over this information. Most consumers aren’t comfortable with handing over private data about their homes for nothing, especially if they’re worried their rates could go up!

But when it comes to accident prevention and mitigation, we’re seeing consumer and insurance provider incentives starting to align. It’s great that I can buy insurance today that will reimburse me if my home suffers water damage, but it would be even better if that insurance service virtually eliminated the risk of water damage altogether AND lowered my rate!

For more information on CONNECTIONS, visit: www.connectionsus.com.

Next: Will the rise of DIY solutions significantly impact the traditional security landscape? Speaker Insights with Trend Micro
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