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The incoming problem with the hyper-connected home

Do you remember your mobile phone from 15 years ago? In simpler times, all we had was voice and text. Now, the average person has more than 80 applications installed on their phone. We didn’t have to worry about countless apps running simultaneously and draining resources such as battery and system memory. But now, a comprehensive mobile operating system is required to manage everything. Issues that were nascent in the past, such as security, connectivity and notifications, are now core to the phone’s operating system.

The home is now going through a similar evolution. The average home, once only having a few connected devices, now has well into the double digits ranging from appliances, security systems and IoT devices to gaming systems, mobile phones and computers. This creates a tidal wave of not only connected devices, but their related mobile software applications.

So, what happens when all of these separate experiences become an issue within the home, especially with in-home connectivity demands at a high during pandemics such as the coronavirus?

The issue with the hyper-connected home

Although internet connectivity is a critical resource for connected devices in the home, there is a lack of visible value to users. Users expect things to work, but even more connected devices and assistants will be independently, relentlessly tapping into the network and causing conflict among the ecosystem. For example, streaming 4K on a smart TV causing latency issues for cloud gaming, or a user not knowing what device is creating suboptimal network quality across the home.

Experience management, visibility, simplicity and management capabilities will become increasingly important. This is because the numbers are reaching into the double-digit domain and they all have different operating systems (OSes), onboarding experiences and network demands. They have to work together in real time while competing with the same network or Wi-Fi resources.

Where the opportunity lies

As more in-home connected apps need to be managed, someone has to be ready with a place in the value chain, and it has to go beyond connectivity and back-end operations.

Luckily, the connectivity explosion represents a critical opportunity in the home. The gap between the legacy connectivity play and the support necessary to assisting a flourishing connectivity ecosystem can make the connectivity providers the de facto home system for users. It can bring more value, intelligence and engagement to the broadband experience.

For connectivity providers specifically, it means less calls to call centers and fewer unnecessary home visits to troubleshoot, which is especially critical at this moment in time. This means cost savings and better workforce management, even as the connected ecosystem becomes more complicated.

Who will make sense of a cluttered connected experience?

What could this look like? For starters, in the past, users only really engaged with their broadband when something wasn’t working. By adding an intelligence layer, value is created, which allows users to interact with their provider every day.

Through a home system, connectivity providers can give users easy visibility and control over experiences, as well as better security. But more importantly, they can also provide smart insights about usage, important events and warnings. Essentially, this turns any broadband user’s home into a smart home. This can be done by leveraging AI to convert signals from connected devices within the home into actionable lifestyle and operational insights.

When we leverage intelligence this way, we achieve the next level in the connectivity revolution. Connectivity providers can have a pivotal role here if they act quickly. Otherwise, similar to what happened with mobile apps, they risk becoming nothing more than a faster pipe than enables other providers’ experiences.

All IoT Agenda network contributors are responsible for the content and accuracy of their posts. Opinions are of the writers and do not necessarily convey the thoughts of IoT Agenda.

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