Smart TV’s, smart thermostats, smart appliances, and smart wine dispensers are redefining the smart home market. Zpryme in partnership with Nest Labs, recently surveyed more than 150 energy providers to learn more about major trends and devices shaping the connected home market. Although the current focus is primarily on products and services for the connected home, technology companies are focusing on the data driving these products and what the data can tell us about the consumers who use them.

Key Findings

Before looking at how the data from smart home technology will be leveraged in the future, I wanted to provide some data from our recent report on connected home products and services.

  • Fifty-two percent of utilities said that the importance of smart home programs will increase significantly over the next 3 to 5 years.

Figure 1. Change in Importance of Smart Home Programs in Next 3 to 5 Years

  • Utilities cited smart thermostats, smart water heaters, smart lighting, and smart appliances as devices most important for the connected home.

Figure 2. Most Important Connected Home Devices in Next 3 to 5 Years

  • Top challenges facing the smart home market were cited to be business case ROI, security/cyber security, technology availability, and the business model.

Figure 3. Challenges for Investing in Connected Home Products/Programs

Amazon, Google, and Apple Want Your Data

The survey results above clearly show a major push into smart home products and services among utilities, but major technology providers are not being shy about their quest to dominate the smart home market. Much of the hype is currently about the devices: Amazon EchoApple HomePod, and Google Home. However, the ability to own, curate, and monetize home user data are the core drivers of the smart home movement.

Detailed user data among products, user behavior, and economic behavior from within the home is a relatively untapped data market. Whoever can tap into this data stream will hold the keys to the future of data monetization. A few future use cases could entail:

  • Hospitals will be able predict when and how frequent emergency room visits will be based upon home user demographics and eating habits;
  • Insurance companies could use this same data to offer tailored packages based upon the risk of certain conditions in a community;
  • Utilities will all be able to leverage home user and device data to tailor DER or EV solutions based upon “green” or “clean tech” tendencies of certain communities;
  • Employers will be able to use home user data to optimize and predict if an employee is a strong fit for a telecommuting position.

I’m sure data models are being tested on these exact things (above). The more we recognize that data are the centerpiece of the smart home value proposition, the more consumers and utilities can benefit from connected home products and services.

This article builds off of the connected home research and my recent article advocating that data are the currency of the future.

To learn more about the digital connection between consumers and technology check out Zpryme’s ETS18 taking place March 26-29 in Austin, Texas.