How many remote controls do you have in your living room? I have 5: TV, set-top box, DVD player, CD player and amplifier. Then I also have 3 or 4 apps on my smartphone and tablet that I regularly use to control and stream video and music between devices and systems.
When you think about it, home entertainment systems have become really quite complicated with many choices, many devices and many ways to control them.
The smart home market has only just been born but it’s already heading the same way. Aside from smart devices themselves – motion sensors, intelligent thermostats, automated light fittings, and so on – each smart home solution invariably comes with its own app and often with its own controller box.
This is perhaps an inevitable part of the growth phase of any new market as different manufacturers and technologies compete for prominence and innovations come thick and fast. But it’s a huge headache for consumers and definitely a barrier to adoption for many of them.
There’s a great opportunity here for telecoms operators to step in and help simplify the smart home landscape and hence drive adoption of smart home services.
Operators already have some kind of residential gateway inside the home. As this device already provides broadband connectivity to the outside world and Wi-Fi connectivity in the house, it makes a great deal of sense for it to become the single home hub to connect smart home devices as well.
There are a couple of connectivity technologies gaining popularity with smart home manufacturers, namely ZigBee and Z-Wave. Combine these in a home hub with Wi-Fi and you can connect more than 70% of all smart home devices available today. So that’s exactly what we decided to do with the Nokia 7368 ISAM ONT G240WZ-A.
With this one home hub, operators can position themselves as the simplifiers of smart home services, connecting the widest possible array of smart home solutions (the ZigBee and Z-Wave alliances include all the major device manufacturers like Philips, Sony, Belkin, LG, Samsung, D-Link and Panasonic). Because everything is connected to a single hub, operators can also provide a single app to control all the devices and smart home services they decide to offer.
Consumers already trust their operators to make their lives simpler (think of triple-play and quad-play services). Now they could have another reason: fewer boxes, fewer controllers and fewer headaches.
One box to rule them all, indeed!
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