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The Internet of Things (IoT) and the Smart Home, Business and Industry Trends Analysis

Homeowners have been early adopters of connected devices, utilizing IoT to improve property security and energy efficiency.  Google saw this trend coming as early as 2014 when it purchased connected thermostat maker Nest for $3.2 billion.  Nest’s devices collect data at the thermostat level and utilize artificial intelligence and IoT to learn how to best set the temperature in the home in a manner that coincides with the residents’ typical daily patterns.  That is, Nest can learn to change settings when all family members have left for the day, say by 8:30 AM, and to alter settings in time for the kids to be home by 3:00 P.M.  Meanwhile it communicates via Wi-Fi and IoT with software on central servers.
Nest includes motion detectors as well as sensors for temperature, humidity and light.  The long-term game for the firm is to gather data about consumer power usage that will be of high value to electric utilities.  Consumers at home can opt into special rebate programs if they allow Nest to reduce their power usage during times of peak utility loads.
Amazon purchased connected doorbell/webcam company Ring for $1 billion.  It also invested in the ecobee smart thermostat firm.  Amazon uses its Alexa and Echo digital assistants platform to offer a wide variety of connected devices and services to the home, via Wi-Fi and IoT.  Device manufacturers are taking advantage of this trend.  For example, Brilliant Tech offers the Brilliant Smart Home Control switch panel with Alexa built in.  The device is compatible with Ring, Sonos, Hue, Google Nest, Wemo, SmartThings and Apple HomeKit.  The panel is a touch screen but also offers voice activation through Alexa for control of home lighting, music, climate, security and more.
Homeowners expect to benefit from the smart home trend through improved home security, alarms and webcams; greater convenience through connected devices that help to manage access to news and entertainment; easier ecommerce orders of a wide variety of products; and greater household energy efficiency.
Amazon even offers smart eyeglasses called Echo Frames.  The frames utilize Bluetooth to connect to the Alexa app on smartphones, and Wi-Fi to connect other features and devices. Users can listen to music and other audio via micro-speakers aimed at the user’s ear and use built-in microphones to question or give commands (such as controlling smart home devices) to Alexa.


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