Goodbye, connected home — hello, intelligent home

By Jessica Ekholm, Gartner
Tuesday, 12 June, 2018

Goodbye, connected home — hello, intelligent home

Digital disruption is happening right now in the connected home. The disruption we are seeing is the move from a connected home to an intelligent home.

But what exactly is an intelligent home? Well, first of all it is the evolution of the connected home, the next step in how our homes will be shaped and function in the future. The intelligent home learns the behaviours and preferences of people, and in some cases pets, in the home. It adapts to and anticipates their needs. It is a home that uses data gathered from a selection of devices and sensors around the home, but also from wearables and even connected cars. It anticipates the needs of the users in the home and responds accordingly. It is a fully autonomous home that acts on the user’s behalf. The key components of an intelligent home are the analytics engine, the artificial intelligence (AI) solution underpinning the solution, and most importantly, a high level of user trust and data transparency.

Alright, so here I am not talking about learning thermostats or smart video cameras, I am talking about a much more integrated system, a system that uses several, multiple data points to create more of a holistic view of the people (and yes pets!) in the home and that acts upon our behalf. There is no denying consumers are shying away from connected home products, partly, because they are “too technical”. In customer experience terms we talk about high- versus low-effort experiences and there is a sense that these products are high effort despite them not necessarily being it. An intelligent home, in theory, should lower the friction and effort for users interacting with their homes, no more fiddling with apps, no more shouting to Alexa, Siri, Hey Google, Hello “Whatshisname”, no more manually programming schedules. It will be based on contextual awareness and understanding of the moment, if it rains then the sprinkler doesn’t go on as ‘usual’ at 4 am, etc.

Here is an example of how it may work...

(Click on the image to get a clearer view.) 

Are we there yet? No. Will we get there? Yes. Early adopters are experimenting. Are consumers really ready for it?

But then there is the ‘small’ issue of the difference between what consumers say they want to do and what they will actually pay for in the end. However, for now I am looking forward to finally being able to create that home that truly knows me, but then I am an early adopter and have all the gadgets under the sun in my home… How about you? Where do you stand?

Gartner’s latest report Market Insight: The Move From the Connected Home to the Intelligent can be found here.

Image credit: ©

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