What are some ways that the data generated by IoT products can help enhance a smart home experience?
Currently, the value of IoT data is more clear-cut on the manufacturer’s side, such as the ability to use real-world feedback about the use and operations of already installed connected products to make better future products or create new services-based revenue streams. Still, there are two areas where we see IoT data able to enhance the end-user smart home experience today: Pre-emptive support and smart home ecosystem analysis.
Pre-emptive support can happen when IoT product manufacturers and their service teams use the data generated by connected smart home devices to detect patterns that indicate potential failures—and take action before the problem actually materializes.
Consider, for example, a connected washing machine that is experiencing a loosening water supply or drain hose, a stuck agitator, or a failing motor. Manufacturers can program the washing machine so that at the moment when the appliance generates operating data indicating a problem, a local service center is alerted and can schedule a service call with the end user to repair the unit before it fails.
If the connected washing machine detects a problem in its software, it’s even possible for the manufacturer or the service center to fix the problem without a service call. In that case, the IoT product manufacturer could use over-the-air (OTA) communications—a capability of IoT platforms such as the one from Ayla Networks—to transmit a bug fix or firmware upgrade or otherwise repair the software, often before an end user even knows there’s an issue.
This kind of pre-emptive support in smart homes represents a new level of customer service that is expected to help build and maintain consumers’ brand loyalty.
Smart home ecosystem analysis means collating data from various interoperating connected devices—such as an HVAC system thermostat, ceiling fan, and dehumidifier—to paint a cohesive picture of the entire smart home ecosystem.
Let’s say the residents of a particular smart home want to set a humidity level in their home that is healthy and feels comfortable, but they don’t understand the interplay among all the related heating, cooling, and ventilation products.
Using IoT data analytics tools such as the Ayla Insights analytics platform, manufacturers can enable IoT data from all the pertinent connected products to be collated and analyzed as a whole ecosystem. As a result, the residents in question learn that their humidity level is optimal when fan speed is set to 4, de-humidifier level is set to 3, and the indoor temperature remains between 65 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
In this way, taking an ecosystem analysis perspective allows the residents to understand how usage of one device affects the others, and how the cumulative effect of all the connected products influences the desired state of their home’s environment. The IoT data produces actionable feedback that enables the residents to "tune" their smart home to achieve optimal comfort levels.
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