Is the smart home a disaster?

joannasternA great perspective by Joanna Stern in the WSJ on where we stand today in the smart home.  She highlights questionable connected devices such as a smart tampon.  Until our smart things start to work together and anticipate their use, most consumers will find the smart things interesting and maybe fun, but not compelling.

Connected Home at CES? 3 steps needed to get there

ces-thefutureofsmarthomeinnovationThe Smart Home was a major theme at CES.  But I think the consumer value proposition is still weak in many cases.  Yes, home devices that are connected to the internet are plentiful.  Yes, each often delivers new features that you can access with an app from your phone.

But in many (most?) cases, that is where the value proposition ends – a fancy remote control app on your phone.  And unless you buy all your appliances and devices from one manufacturer, you will wind up with lots of different remote control apps.  If you visited the LG booth, you know what I mean.

I am still waiting for powerful new ways that a Smart Home can change my life by making it more efficient, simpler or delivering compelling new experiences.  To get there, three things need to happen.

1.Device communication standards that make it is easy to connect many devices from different manufacturers in my home, including battery operated and low power devices.

2.Device interoperability so that I can access deep features no matter which manufacturer’s device I choose.  This requires standard device profiles or something similar.

3.Lifestyle apps that use deep data mining, learning and analytics to help me manage my home in ways that I can’t easily do today.

Judging from CES this year, we are still years away from this.  Your thoughts?