Extending the Smart Home Experience to the Connected Car - Insights from Gentex Corporation

by Parks Associates | May. 28, 2019

Prior to Parks Associates’ 23rd-annual CONNECTIONS: The Premier Connected Home Conference, Brian Brackenbury, Director, Connected Products, Gentex Corporation, spoke with the firm’s analyst team to discuss the smart home experience.

Brian participated on the Connected Cars: Extension for the Smart Home panel on Wednesday, May 22, at 10:15 AM. Panelists who joined him on this session included:

Jan-Philipp Gehrmann, Director, Head of Automotive Sales & Marketing Silicon Valley, NXP
Andy Hodge, CEO, Founder, Owl Cameras Inc.
Katie McMahon, Vice President and General Manager, SoundHound Inc.
Dr. Alan Messer, CTO, Mojio

Q: As the smart home experience expands outside the home, how will the role of the car evolve as part of the smart home ecosystem?

A: From a technology perspective, many of the building blocks are already in-place for cars to connect to the Smart Home, however, ensuring a simple, intuitive, easy to use interface is critical for a non-distracted driving experience. If the industry were to simply drop-in the existing myriad of smart home app interfaces into a car, you would have a messy, hard to use jumbled UX. While voice has made some great strides forward, the automobile environment has factors like road noise, fellow passengers, noisy kids, etc. that don’t always make voice the right choice for a user interface. Aggregating the fragmented services into a simple, one touch interface, like HomeLink Connect, will ensure the end user gets something they can actually use every day, and in all conditions!

Q: What is necessary to build a seamless smart home experience that crosses brands, platforms, and ecosystems?

A: The key factors to ensure a seamless smart home experience will be device interoperability, and customizable UX/UI that can cross brands & ecosystems. While there are pockets of interoperability, the consumer is currently forced into picking a branded eco system (Amazon, Google, Apple, etc …). The industry will need to find the right neutral ground for this interoperability, the current landscape is far to tech giant centric, this is not a win for the end consumer. On the user experience front, there are certainly some good choices with smart speakers or smart displays, but again these are each a brand choice, and not a win for ALL consumers. If the industry desires a truly seamless experience for the end consumer, the key players in the industry need to provide more open API interfaces that provides widespread interoperability, as well as API’s for custom end product UX/UI.

Next: Analyst Insights from CONNECTIONS 2019
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