Service Providers Jockeying To Lead Smart Home Adoption

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The seventh in a series taking a closer look at Arrayent’s Top 10 Predictions for 2017. No. 7: IoT in 2017…will show a huge increase in connected products being purchased through trusted service providers, as these vertical players vie to take the lead in smart home ecosystems.

Service Providers

The Do-It-Yourself (DIY) nature of smart home product installations, compounded by the incompatible nature of many connected products and their ecosystems, has been the key factor in preventing mass adoption of smart home products to date. So who will ‘regular’ (i.e. non-techie) people trust to help get connected home products installed and ensure they all work together? We believe the service providers that already have an established footprint in consumer homes, and with whom they already have some level of trust, are the obvious choice.

Large cable and telecommunications companies and brands, like Comcast Xfinity or AT&T U-verse, security providers like ADT, plus utilities and other providers are actively packaging services and solutions combined with professional installation at relatively low costs—jockeying for position and seeking to advance their brand footprint ever further into the smart home.

Here’s a sampling of key players and their latest activities:

  • Comcast and AT&T, with their large existing customers bases and marketing budgets, are already in a prime position to upgrade customer accounts, as a report published last fall by IHS noted. Comcast is delivering new home automation features, products and services for both individuals and enterprises, including built-in security camera access, smart lighting, and thermostats via its Xfinity Home ecosystem. In late 2016, Comcast purchased Icontrol to up its game. For AT&T’s IoT activity, visit the Internet of Things Newsroom.
  • On the traditional security front, ADT has been pushing its Pulse home automation system as an ecosystem provider. With an installed base of more than six million and reportedly more than half of ADT’s new subscribers opting for Pulse over traditional home security, the company is in excellent position, according to Seeking Alpha. It is also has begun extending its security offering beyond the home, with its Life360 partnership—to “provide automation and security wherever a consumer may be.”
  • On the energy utility front, smart meters have become the most prolific IoT device but U.S. customers are also enrolling in solar panel and smart thermostat programs that feed into a demand response program, in order to save money and help energy providers control load.
  • Don’t count out retailer services from giants like Amazon who has emerged recently with its own smart home consultation Consumers need only enter their zip code and find an expert who will help assess their home and recommend solutions, along with a personalized list of smart home products to make it easy to get started.
  • In the insurance industry, the agenda for the upcoming Insurance IoT USA Summit set
    for next Nov. 30 – Dec. 1 says a lot about the industry’s interest and solutions. IoT is already impacting life insurance premiums, as connected devices can prove that people are exercising, and some insurers are even offering special deals on gym memberships. The auto insurance industry is keeping pace, as companies like Progressive and their Snapshot device, are already monitoring how you drive and setting premiums accordingly.

All of these service providers are in position to capitalize on their IoT investments in 2017, and we will stay closely focused on their progress. And, since Arrayent EcoAdaptors enable interoperability between connected products that were not initially designed to work together, we are all the more interested to see these emerging leaders and how our ecosystem integration can help their efforts.

You can read all of our predictions for 2017 here. Be sure you are subscribed to our blog, newsletter and social media feeds as we expect to chronicle many future developments for consumer IoT technologies throughout 2017.