The Connected Home: Making it Work
The connected home is an artifact of the Internet: it exists at the intersection of home networking, telemetric services, content delivery, and communication services. Increasingly, this means that it is simply an integrated combination of over-the-top (OTT) services, delivered by means of a broadband Internet pipe. More importantly, consumers are now becoming comfortable with this notion, and are increasingly looking for ways to obtain connected home services and support.
The network operators have been approaching connected home solutions carefully. This is perhaps understandable given the history of telephony and the perils of customer support. Yet, it is clear that the connected home offers the last great opportunity for operator dominance in the consumer communication market. For it is in this space that operators are most likely to be able to avoid the substantial overheads that regulation will impose.
However, the connected home is a complex beast, and is hard for consumers to maintain. In the ultimate connected home scenario, most home appliances, utilities and services will communicate. Imagine trying to maintain such a diverse and complex environment; especially as an average, non-technical consumer. Consequently, a better approach than simply selling products and services is needed to propel the connected home market forward. Yet, this selling of products and services with an implicit role of consumer self-management of the connected home environment is exactly the approach that has been pervasive in the connected home market. Clearly, a better way is required.
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