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Deployment of smart home services using voice technology must be phased: Insights from TiVo

Before attending CONNECTIONS™Europe in Amsterdam, Charles Dawes, Senior Director, International Marketing at TiVo, answered several industry questions:

Where do you feel the largest opportunity is for the smart home industry in Europe?

For us at TiVo, the sweet spot for “Smart Home” is around the consumption of entertainment media, be this video, audio, or gaming. Consumers around the globe spend almost as much time consuming entertainment as they do sleeping or working and much of this is happening in the home. As we see new products like Amazon Echo coming into the home, that intersect many different areas and open up new discovery paradigms for consumers around voice, we are naturally excited for the future.

What challenges does Europe face with rolling out new smart home products and services?

One big challenge in the market for new products and services is the fact that different countries are experiencing varying levels of adoption for smart home products. While Europe benefits from harmonization of regulation in many sectors, there are still local nuances that need to be addressed. In addition, another challenge is the diverse nature of the continent. For instance, we have 24 official languages in the EU, which means that the deployment of smart home services using voice technology as a method of interaction has to be phased rather than being deployed everywhere at once.

How will companies leverage the growth in the market in the next 12 months?

Companies will continue to leverage the opportunities for growth that currently exist. As service providers and utility companies continue to roll out next generation services and implement programmes such as Smart Metering, consumers will both become more aware of the opportunities and benefits for them around enabling smarter living spaces.

Who are the most important players for the European Smart Home industry?

Many consumers don’t want to or don’t have the in-depth technical knowledge to implement complicated smart home systems. The key players include service providers, utility companies and the big internet players like Apple, Google and Amazon. Additionally, consumer electronics manufacturers continue to play a key role in bringing devices into the home that can form key parts of the Smart Home ecosystem.

Do you believe consumers are skeptical about the value of smart home products?

Consumers are increasingly buying into the benefits of smart home products. As more and more devices that are able to be networked are launched, consumers are starting to see the benefits. Led by large utility companies like British Gas rolling out Smart Metering and offering products like connected heating control at very affordable price points the value proposition is starting to become more tangible for the end consumer.

What is the biggest obstacle to the adoption of products?

The biggest obstacles to wide scale adoption are still a mix of consumer awareness and interoperability. Consumers are gradually becoming more aware of what they can do and what the real benefits of smart home technology are. For instance, if you can make a material difference to their energy consumption then they will have more reason to understand the benefits and look to integrate more systems into their homes. Interoperability is also key if we are to see more consumers embracing smart home technology. Consumers need to know that they are buying into an open but secure ecosystem of products.

We are looking forward to hearing you present, but what are you most looking forward to about the show this year?

I’m most looking forward to seeing the progress made across the Smart Home and IoT sector in the last 12 months and discussing with peers and industry experts how the market will develop in the future.

Dawes will speak on the session “Personalizing the User Experience: Innovative Interfaces” alongside speakers from IBM Watson and Technicolor.

For more information on CONNECTIONS™ Europe and how your company can become involved, visit