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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Voice control rapidly affecting connected home and entertainment industries: Insights from Abode Systems

Christopher Carney, Co-Founder & CEO, Abode Systems, provided insight on several key industry trends ahead of Parks Associates’ 21st-annual CONNECTIONS™ Conference, which will be held May 23-25 at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport:

How is your company engaging consumers through new technology solutions?

Through Abode, we’re providing a highly interactive smart home security system that leverages familiar mobile and web technology to give the consumer the ability to build their own system, their way. By giving the consumer the power to customize their system, the end user gets to decide how often they hear from their system and control what’s happening within their home. We understand not every customer is the same so we engage with them by giving them the ultimate choice and influence over their system. We recognize some users will want to be alerted anytime happens within the system while others, will just want to know if something is wrong. As we continue to develop the Abode system, we always look back to our original vision of wanting to give the consumer total control over their entire experience. To that end, we feel it’s important we don’t box customers in and give them the flexibility to add in the additional devices and services they want. Once customers get a taste of how a smart home security system like Abode can augment their lifestyle, we always want customers to be able to add to that experience and improve it.

What is the biggest change you have seen in the past year in the connected home and entertainment industries?

The entrance of voice control and how rapidly that aspect of the connected home industry has grown is one of the two biggest changes to have taken place over the past 12 months. According to reports, in the U.S. alone, Amazon has sold over 5 million Amazon Echo devices since 2014. That figure has likely increased since it was published and that only accounts for Echo devices without taking into consideration other voice control devices such as Google Home.

Within the past 12 months, the shift from point-to-point device manufacturers working to create more comprehensive solutions is another big change within the industry and that is being driven by consumers. At the industry’s infancy, consumers were happy with point-to-point devices and were limited in their options for devices. As the industry continues to grow and more solutions become available, customers want their devices to be more connected than before to give them broader control over their number devices. As a result, many point-to-point device manufacturers are either working towards releasing additional devices that work within the ecosystem they’ve created or, looking to integrate their solution with larger connected home systems.

What is the biggest driver for the connected consumer market?

Connected consumers are looking for solutions that deliver convenience, are simple to use and work as intended. Beyond a combination of those three factors, consumers are driven by solutions that provide additional value to their lives. For those reasons, Abode focuses on delivering security to our customers because through our system, customers get peace of mind. Especially in the US, connected devices for the consumer market need to be easy to use and provide value beyond simple control in order for the market to continue to grow and mature.

What is the greatest challenge for the connected home industry in the next year?

Currently, there’s so much noise within the industry that it’s difficult to properly educate consumers on all of the solutions that are available to them as well as how and if all of those solutions work together. It’s the responsibility of the industry to continue driving consumer education to match the level of excitement and demand that’s out there for the connected home. Closed systems within the industry that are not willing or unable to work with other systems are also slowing down the progression of the connected home industry. One of the biggest challenges currently facing the industry is consistently delivering an overall happy customer experience. It frustrates consumers when they purchase a device that they’re excited about only to find out it does not work with any of the other solutions they already have installed in their home. To move forward, the connected home industry needs to open up. Continued progression within the space can only happen if all parties involved want to work together to deliver a more positive experience to the connected customer.

Carney will speak on the session “Industry Insights: Channel Strategies” during the pre-show workshop “Smart Home and IoT: Growth, Consumer Trends” on Tuesday, May 23 at 11:15 a.m. Joining Carney on the panel are speakers from The Home Depot, IoT Consulting, LLC, and Skybell Video Doorbell.

For more information on CONNECTIONS™, visit www.connectionsus.com or register by clicking here.

Next: Affordability and simplicity make home automation accessible to a mass market: Insights from BullGuard
Previous: IBM Watson, Harmon, GM, and Panasonic highlight IoT and Transformation of Auto Industry at 21st-annual CONNECTIONS: The Premier Connected Home Conference


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