IoT World: Consumer Experience, Trust is Key to Widespread Adoption of Connected Home Devices | Cypress Semiconductor
IoT World: Consumer Experience, Trust is Key to Widespread Adoption of Connected Home Devices
SAN FRANCISCO — It should come as no surprise that everything from smart light bulbs to smart sprinklers are on display at this week’s Internet of Things World show at Moscone Center. Yet, for all of the bells and whistles that entrepreneurs and developers are bringing to new Internet of Things devices, there’s still one big hurdle to widespread adoption – consumer trust.
“If we really want this space to catch fire, the consumer experience has to be paramount,” said Chris Allen, Chief Executive of iDevices, a Broadcom partner that showcased Switch, a Homekit-enabled smart plug that can turn on a light with a command directed toward the voice-activated Siri.
Allen was among the executive panelists at “Making Connections: The Consumer Experience and Adoption of the Smart Home,” a discussion that was moderated by Brian Bedrosian, senior director of product marketing, Wireless Connectivity Combos at Broadcom. During the afternoon session, the panelists talked about what it will take for a company to not only rise above the noise of a busy ecosystem but also what it will take to gain traction in the long run.
Delivering a great experience out of the box is “more important that adding all of the nifty features into your product,” Allen said.
Rob Martens, a marketing executive from entry door lock and hardware maker Schlage, agreed.
“Right now we are forcing the consumer to be the expert, and they hate it,” he said. “They vote with their dollars, so we want to make the experience as easy as possible.”
But, as Bedrosian noted, a good consumer experience is bigger than the product itself. There’s also a “trust factor” that’s critical to the adoption of IoT devices for the home – and much of it is based on consumer concerns over data collection and privacy, especially when it comes to home automation and tracking peoples’ habits.
“It’s all about consistency of experience, confidence in the product, and trust,” Bedrosian said. “Consumers shouldn’t have to worry that the data they are sharing is unsecured.”
Broadcom’s WICED™ Wi-Fi and WICED™ Smart connectivity technologies provide the wireless hook for products like iDevices’ new Switch and technologies such as Schlage’s Sense, both of which are designed to promote convenience and security in the connected home.
“It only takes one bad experience for that customer to say, ‘I’m done with this product,’” Allen said.
The panelists were in agreement about another trend on the horizon: That the fragmented IoT ecosystem will eventually shake out and only a handful of trusted brands will come out on top.
“As we cultivated chipsets to catalyze this market, we really thought about enabling both the new entrants and the tried-and-true brands that the consumer is already familiar with,” Broadcom’s Bedrosian said.
iDevices Allen predicted that there will be a “consolidation period” over the next two years.
“The folks that are left standing will be the brands that people recognize and trust to bring secure, great-quality products to market,” he said.
Martens characterized this period as one of intense scrutiny by early adopters and mainstream consumers alike.
“We are living in the experience economy,” he said. “We are going to be judged based on the integrated experience that the consumer has when buying our product.”
Meanwhile, at a Hackathon
Elsewhere at IoT World, teams of technical wizards were trying their hand at creating prize-worthy new connected devices at a 30-hour hackathon.
Many of them were building out their vision for a new connected product on tools provided by Anaren’s AIR for WICED™ kit, an out-of-the box module with built-in Bluetooth connectivity and software support for “drag and drop” programming.
Diana Laboy-Rush, an applications developer at Aruba Networks in Portland, Ore., was using the AIR for WICED ™ development kit to create a hack that would help people who are hearing-impaired to recognize when there’s a knock at the door.
She tapped the accelerometer feature of the AIR module to translate how a vibration — or a knock at the door — can be converted into optical data and turn on a colored light bulb.