James Monighan, Managing Director (Europe) at SmartThings has been confirmed as a Smart Home speaker for the Smart Summit London being held on the 21st and 22nd of September at the Olympia Conference Centre in London.
SmartThings offer a number of smart devices which can be controlled using the SmartThings Hub and a free app, making it easy for anyone to turn a home into a smart home. With SmartThings, you can secure your home for a fraction of the cost of a traditional home security system; stay connected to loved ones wherever you are; save money on energy costs; and control and automate lights, locks, temperature, electronics, and more to create a smart home that automatically reacts to your preferences.
James, who will be speaking about how to bring the smart home business to life on the 22nd of September, completed our speaker Q&A:
1. Which service is most likely to trigger mass market smart home take-up – security, entertainment, heating, health or something else?
We are seeing a lot of customers who wish to attach devices from a wide range of manufacturers e.g. Samsung, Phillips hue, Sonos etc. Therefore the breadth of devices that a platform can support becomes critical since customers don’t want to have to worry about whether or not they will work.
However the biggest changes currently happening are:
1) The inclusion of hub technology in everyday objects such as the new range of Samsung TV’s - super convenient for customers and reduces the price of entry
2) The rise of solutions like Amazon Echo (who we work with). This makes it super simple for customers to set up and control their homes - and live their digital lives simply and easily
2. Where does potential lie for new industries to become involved in the Smart Home market?
Industries we are talking to and in some cases piloting new services with include - insurance, buildings management/ control, security, health, housebuilding, elderly care, energy providers and telecoms companies. In short it touches on every sector and industry.
The potential is for companies to differentiate, generate new revenue streams, target new customer segments and retain more customers.
Often it can be a key source of competitive advantage.
3. How are partnerships contributing to growth in the Smart Home market?
These are key in terms of capability and brand. For example we have services already launched in the USA in the security space with Scout and ADT, BMW motors etc. The key is about complementary services and a similar culture to test and learn.
4. How are new Smart Home products generating customer loyalty?
We can see from our platform the rapid rate at which customers are adopting more products over time and the rate of growth is increasing. Customers see these services as an essential part of their life and therefore highly engaging. Once you have these types of services, you don’t want to go without again - plus if you move home you can just take it all with you!
5. How can security and privacy concerns be overcome?
Constant vigilance and ensuring that customers are clear what data they have given permission to share and what it is being used for. I believe that it’s also critical to be backed by a global trusted technology brand (Samsung) that will be around for a long time rather than smaller regional specialists. Ultimately there will be probably be some form of industry code that we will all sponsor.
6. Which retailers are achieving most success in Smart Home sales and why?
Retailers who have a strong online presence and staff who are both passionate and informed about this space. Customers value reviews, informed opinions and specialist advice when choosing.
7. Is there too much focus on mass market appeal or is there still a place for high-end products?
I believe there is a mass market opportunity but we all need to work harder in terms of conveying the benefits, range of choice and great value for money. High end products will remain with specialist vendors and installers. The market we are focused on is more about simplicity and self-install if required.
8. How successful will subscription-based models be for the Smart Home market?
They will be critical and we are already testing different concepts. In my opinion the market will move more towards a mobile type model although customers need to understand the value they are being provided with for this to be successful.
9. Is an OpenSource platform necessary for industry growth?
10. How important is cost in the purchase decision and how are retailers and product manufacturers responding to this?
It’s an important aspect of the purchase consideration. Overall we are looking to drive cost down through global scale and also incorporating everyday items such as TV’s. Bundles are successful where they focus on specific customer problems.
About Smart Summit London
Smart Summit is a 2 day conference and exhibition covering the Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem and its impact on the digital society.
With 3 in-depth event tracks and over 160 leading speakers, no other IoT event covers the Smart Home, Smart Cities and Industrial Internet of Things in as much detail.
Co-located with a joint networking exhibition, each track (summit) features over 20 unique and topical sessions – gain a unique insight from industry heavyweights and hear case study examples from major contributors.
Make sure you are present in London on the 21st and 22nd September for THE Smart event of 2016.