Flying cars are not yet commercially available but are already in development. However, something else that once only existed in our imagination is already here. These are smart homes.
Imagine entering your home coming from a long day at work. Then, the lights automatically turn on, and relaxing music plays on the speakers. Furthermore, the temperature is perfect because the thermostat has already adjusted it before you arrive. The oven is already pre-heated.
That’s what smart homes promise their owners. It will not be shocking if every home in the future is a smart home. With the emerging trends and other advances in the smart home industry, that’s almost guaranteed.
That said, starting a smart home business is a great idea. But please remember that you would be going against giant companies like Amazon and Samsung. So, your smart home devices should really offer something special to stand out.
Here are five tips you would find useful. These are what you should consider to make your smart home products more attractive for users.
Ensure Your Solutions Are Actually Smart
There are so many smart home devices on the market. However, while many companies call them “smart” devices, in reality, they are just “connected” devices.
Smart switches, televisions, and light bulbs – are examples of devices you can find in a smart home. In recent years, many companies added web connectivity to many of these devices. That allows users to monitor and manage these devices from afar. Technically, those devices are only “connected devices” rather than “smart devices.”
A device must contain a certain intelligence – most of the time located in the cloud – to become a real smart device. Smart leak detection systems are the best examples. They automatically turn off the water when they detect a leak to prevent any damage. Likewise, a smart security camera follows suspicious movement, shines floodlights for better visibility, and sends you alerts immediately. A smart home may even ensure that your doors are locked when this happens to prevent potential unallowed entry.
In short, a smart home solution should solve real problems that users face. It’s not enough that they’re connected to the internet. If you ensure your solutions are like this, you will have the upper hand over your competition.
Know Your Target Market
Once upon a time, people considered smart homes a luxury. But not anymore. Many people now consider outfitting their homes with smart devices. Thus, it motivates companies to innovate and create more smart home products. But before you nosedive into that, it’s best to know how to approach different countries first.
Berg Insight forecasted that more than 91 million homes in America and Europe are smart now. According to industry analysis, the best smart home market globally is in the USA. The continent of Europe follows.
So, what are the people from these regions’ preferences for smart home devices? Americans want a comfortable lifestyle. Thus, smart lighting, audio systems, temperature control, and security systems are the most popular products. Meanwhile, Europeans are all about cost and energy saving.
The smart home market is not as big in other areas, but it is not nonexistent. For example, adopting home automation solutions is commonplace in the UAE. It is a hot country, so most people stay inside facilities with temperature control. That said, smart air conditioners are really popular in the country. On the other hand, smart security systems are not as popular as in the USA. That’s because it is one of the safest countries in the world.
Devices Must Be Smart and User-Friendly
Smart homes promise convenience. However, there’s some conflict; the devices themselves sometimes cause inconvenience. Different brands manufacture them. Since there are no industry standards yet, each brand uses a different protocol. So, homeowners use different interfaces or apps to control their smart devices. For tech-savvy people, that may not be much of a problem. But for others, like seniors, it would be nice if it’s simpler.
Integration with voice assistants or smart home hubs helps solve that problem. The former even allows people to control their homes hands-free. Users can use smartphones or special devices that support all voice commands to access this tech.
Users can also opt for smart home hubs. These devices allow them to control all their devices from one interface or app.
Matter is also coming – or maybe when you are reading this, it’s already released. It is a standard that companies like Google, Apple, Amazon, and Samsung made to ensure future devices will not have interoperability issues.
That said, it’s best to make your products have support for these things.
The problem with IoT devices is, well, they are connected to the internet. Meaning every device a user adds to the home increases the chance of hacking. So, take care of safety and privacy vulnerabilities.
But doing that is not enough because consumers also have their part to play. Thus, it is best to remind them to do or not do the following.
Users’ home networks could be as secure as possible. But there’s no guarantee that Wi-Fi in public places is the same. If one connects to them to check their smart homes, they give hackers a new opportunity. So, deter your customers from using public Wi-Fi.
Also, offer two-factor authentication and encourage users to set it up. With that on, hackers can’t access devices unless they can provide the one-time code you send to none other than the user.
Last, encourage users to complete security updates to prevent malware problems.
Make an Accessible Companion App For Your Devices
Wearables, smart home devices, and mobile apps enable users to control their homes without touching a computer or a keyboard. So, it’s best to invest in these to make your devices more attractive to users.
A good app notifies the user about the status of the devices at home. Furthermore, it has to allow users to control their devices from anywhere, at any time.