The Future of Connected Devices - Insights from Bitdefender

by Parks Associates | May. 27, 2019

Prior to Parks Associates’ 23rd-annual CONNECTIONS: The Premier Connected Home Conference, Dan Berte, Director, IoT, Bitdefender spoke with the firm’s analyst team to discuss future of connected devices in the home.

Dan participated on the Data Security and Privacy: Empowering Consumers panel on Wednesday, May 22, at 1:15 PM. Panelists who joined him on this session included:

Marcio Avillez, SVP of Business Development, CUJO AI
Gary Davis, Chief Consumer Security Evangelist, McAfee
Paul Palmer, Director, Business Development, Consumer Business Unit, F-Secure Inc.
Moti Shkolnik, Co-founder & CEO, Firedome

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: There are already many groundbreaking solutions available that have been successfully tested in the market, but it doesn't necessarily mean that all of them are good or the equally competent. These solutions should be easy to install and use. Ideally they should be able to do part of the analysis and malware detection at the device level, for privacy reasons. Last but not least, it shouldn't be only a software solution brought at the network level, it should include all the network security features that a business solution has.

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

A: The impact of 5G technologies for fixed broadband-type applications will be phenomenal. Think rural areas that will quickly jump to levels of connectivity and affordability never seen before. With more reach, bandwidth and massively improved latency all these new, connected, devices will have a perfect environment to grow and improve our lives. From a cyber security stand point, 5G's biggest threat is that it can also enable the weaponization of IoT devices in botnet attacks through which hackers can launch more powerful Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, like the well-known Mirai attack that brought down Netflix, Twitter, The Guardian, Reddit, to just name a few.

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: Cars are no longer about engines and transmissions, chassis and raw performance, but about safety, comfort and convenience. As manufacturers now interchange platforms and parts to jointly develop cars, something unthinkable in the golden age of the automobile, their attention actually shifts to the in-car experience: the technology, entertainment, luxury, comfort and safety. With drivers moving out of the active role of driving, manufacturers are already thinking about how to keep them entertained during trips. More so, ownership demand is dwindling with the younger generation and autonomous cars offer a glimpse of a true car sharing future, where personalization - without compromising consumer privacy - for the duration of any short trip will be the key for market success.

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

A: An unequivocal feeling of control and visibility. Devices should also be able to adapt, learn and evolve with the owner. Most probably this integration will be possible through personal assistants like Amazon Echo or Google Home.

Q: What impact will emerging technologies like AI, machine learning, and blockchain have on the smart home? What are the associated challenges with implementing these technologies in the home?

A: In the wake of IPv6 total adoption it’s safe to assume all new devices will individually claim an IP. That basically means all devices will become visible on the Internet, which is desirable, but also brings new security and privacy challenges. AI/ML, on a blockchain foundation, may alleviate some of these risks by supporting identification, authentication and detection of anomalies.

Q: With smart home adoption flattening in 2018, what must the industry do to reach new buyers?

A: We’re in a personal assistant evolution valley. The next major breakthrough is a few years away and the existing products are limited. When the novelty runs out, customers demand value. There may be opportunity in tiding up the space and buttoning up the experience before offering new functionality.

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

A: Voice remains the hero value prop in the space and it will become crucial in the next exponential iteration.

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

A: New businesses will jump in to tie up self-managed, DIY, security products in connected homes. There’s a fantastic market untapped yet that will bridge the gap. Keep in mind, a vulnerable smart home environment means a less secure dwelling.

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: The voice platform wars are far from over, but some winners already emerged, with Amazon in the lead and Google following closely. A unified experience means playing well with either or both, but not outside of these ecosystems.

Next: Extending the Smart Home Experience to the Connected Car - Insights from Gentex Corporation
Previous: Retail Strategies and Smart Home Merchandising


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