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Blog Post

The ‘Quiet’ Connected Home..Some observations from CES 2020

Alan Coleman – CEO
January 21, 2020
The ‘Quiet’ Connected Home..Some observations from CES 2020 at Sweepr

Calm Design

As I travelled back from Las Vegas last week I had some time to reflect on what I thought were the themes that could shed light on where technology in our Connected Homes is headed.

I started by considering what products or innovations most impressed me. One of those that I found compelling was a product by Mui Labs which is wood based interface for accessing touch and voice based controls. Mui refers to the technology as being based on ‘calm design’ which is based on the philosophy of harmony in Taoism.

On a similar theme I saw Instaview from LG, which has been out for a couple of years but is non-intrusive but delightful feature allowing you to knock to make your fridge transparent. Samsung meanwhile were introducing more harmonious technologies to bring us closer to the food we eat and how and where we grow it.

This trend of making our home technology ‘quieter’ and more harmonious is a reaction to the observations from many industry sources that the brash ‘Smart Home’ is not proving to be as attractive to the mass market as anticipated. That is an opinion shared by both Google and Amazon.

Image Courtesy of MuiLabs

Digital Anthropology

We need to build technology experiences that are less obtrusive and available at the ‘moment of need’.

As I reflect on this focus on what is being called ‘Digital Anthropology’ it resonates with how we in Sweepr view the evolution of technical support.

Today the journey to get help with a problem or question about a device or service in our homes is full of friction and latency.

Once the problem occurs we have to find the number to call or webpage to visit. We then wait for an agent to become free. We have to do our best to explain our problem and hopefully the quality of that engagement will be high enough to solve our problem. It might not be.. We may need to re-explain ourselves to a colleague…etc..etc.. and all the while our time disappears along with our patience and peace of mind.

Help when you need it, Delivered how you want it

The support model Sweepr delivers dramatically reduces that ‘latency’, as soon as you speak or type your problem we commence the diagnosis and remediation. Sweepr knows your home…It listens to you and then observes the rest of the home (the network, the device and associated services). Sweepr knows you….the pace and vocabulary is matched to the customers comfort levels with technology. The experience is consistently of a measurable high quality, and we learn how to do better all the time. This is help when you need it, delivered how you want it. Most importantly we take ownership of the problem, as soon as the customer has explained the issue it is out of their hands and off their shoulders until it is resolved.

Personally, I would be much happier to live in a home with supportive technologies that remain unobtrusive until they are requested. When I engage I expect my experience to be contextual, relevant and personalised. It should be ‘quiet’. That is a Connected Home I think we could all learn to love.