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Smart Home

Smart Home Platforms: Enabling Seamless Management

Extending a smart home platform to support connected health and wellness applications and services is a natural pathway forward for many smart home platform providers. The connected health market represents several interesting use cases that converge with the smart home industry. Consumers spend less than 1% of their time interacting with the traditional healthcare system (i.e., hospitals, clinics, doctors, and health coaches). Home, on the other hand, is where consumers spend most time of their time, with their family, caring for themselves and others, and enjoying life—food, drink, exercise, sleep—all experiences that impact their health and wellbeing.

As the number of connected devices in consumers’ lives continue to increase each year, consumers now have the opportunity to stay in the comfort of their home while receiving care that traditionally required a trip to the doctor.

A smart home platform is a software system that integrates and coordinates products from multiple categories and provides a unified user experience. The software may be embedded entirely in the smart home controller or hub, with capabilities that can range from basic home automation and control to advanced whole-house automation and monitoring. Alternatively, it may combine software in the controller with software in the cloud.

Smart home service providers may use a third-party smart home platform or may develop their own. Generally, if the service provider uses a third-party platform, the smart home service provider customizes the solution and provides a unique solution to consumers. At a minimum, larger companies customize the smart home system with their brand. At the technical level, a smart home platform supports the integration and deployment of smart home devices and services with a typical architecture as highlighted in the red box area 

Service providers must develop a platform or partner with companies that provide a smart home platform. By bringing together a set of capabilities and technologies, platforms enable the seamless management of the smart home ecosystems. A platform provider can serve its business customers in a variety of ways:

1. Offer the entire platform as a turnkey solution to a smart home service provider so that the provider can launch its branded services rapidly.

2. Offer the operation and technology layers of the smart home platform to provide customers that can forge partnerships with device OEMs and application developers on their own.

3. Offer only the technology layer of the smart home platform: let customers customize their own application and operation layers, and bring in their own partners.

The entire CE industry, including connected entertainment products, will eventually converge with smart home ecosystems. Over time, so will connected health devices—an even younger consumer marketplace than the smart home. Like smart home products, connected health products already integrate with smartphones, tablets, computers, and even smart speakers for the purposes of controls, programming, and alerts.

This is an exception from Parks Associates research library developed over more than three decades. For more information on our work, please contact me or any of our team. Thank you for reading and we appreciate all your comments.

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