Supporting Our Connected Homes
My house, I say. But hark to the sunny doves That make my roof the arena of their loves, That gyre about the gable all day long And fill the chimneys with their murmurous song: Our house, they say; and mine, the cat declares And spreads his golden fleece upon the chairs; And mine the dog, and rises stiff with wrath If any alien foot profane the path. So, too, the buck that trimmed my terraces, Our whilom gardener, called the garden his; Who now, deposed, surveys my plain abode And his late kingdom, only from the road. My House, I Say…Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894)
WHAT DOES OUR FUTURE LOOK LIKE?
Our homes are stealthily becoming increasingly connected to the internet. IOT devices are the fastest selling consumer electronic devices in the stores and most “white goods” manufacturers have plans to connect every product they sell within the next 2-3 years.
For the most part this is a very positive development which will result in a future of connected and coordinating devices that work to pre-empt our needs and make our lives easier….
We will have recipes that are suggested based on what ingredients we have in the house. The recipe will then ensure all the devices required to prepare this recipe are working in tandem. A weighing scale that auto-adjusts amounts based on the number of people eating…an oven that pre-heats to the perfect temperature, a mixer that blends to the right consistency perhaps even the perfect lighting and music choices for the meal in question.
Once you are finished your dish washer will work for just the right amount of time to clean the dishes while your fridge busily adds the ingredients you used to your shopping list ( or goes ahead and re-orders them for you).
All of this is achieved by improved orchestration there will also be much improved user interfaces using apps or voice commands that are not constrained by a few fiddly buttons that we sometimes face on our appliances today.
All of this interaction will also change the sort of relationships we have with our service providers and appliance manufacturers who will be keen to leverage this enriched connected home to improve their services to you at lower costs to themselves. These new service offerings will focus on content, software enabled functionality and a drive towards rental payments rather than upfront capital outlays.
THE UTOPIAN CHALLENGES
I use the word ‘utopian’ slightly tongue in cheek. While many will find this vision exhilarating other will find it a little overwhelming..Some of the vision I paint will be by choice. You will choose the level of automation you are comfortable with….Other aspects of it will creep up on us and in a few years time we will find ourselves living unwittingly in a much more connected homes.
What is clear is that while technology continues its inexorable march into the future the levels of technical support the average homeowner will require is going to increase in parallel.
Today we predominantly look for support concerning our internet access of TV service in the future we will require support for our connected heating system, our security system, our music services, our interactive gaming, our connected cars etc….
This is where we start to see the emergence of some challenges.
It is already very expensive to support customers with the limited number of connected devices that are in most homes today such as the router or the set-top box. Providers spend many millions every year fielding calls from annoyed customers whose service has been interrupted or are in need of some technical support.
As our homes become more connected, there will be more calls for assistance this will lead to more cost.
So how will we meet this need all while people’s expectations for uninterrupted service continues to increase.
This is the problem that motivates us here in Sweepr. We are working on re-inventing technical support so that it is autonomous and intuitive. We see support as a continuous requirement as opposed to being tied to a specific incident. Finally we want to deliver this support without the necessity for a call to speak to a human agent where possible..
Keep in touch with us to learn more about how we plan to address this problem.