How to market smart homes to domestic facilities managers

In the future no jet setting, glamorous entrepreneur/spy lifestyle will be complete without at-fingertips control for all of his facilities. It will even help keep socks dry after a jetski commute to work. And, er, lock colleagues in the revolving door.

I absolutely love this video from Mivune (clients of Zuhlke, a supporter of our CEO Tales). It makes me chuckle.

This is a vision handed down from the building automation industry – legacy of different platforms, a professional user who is paid to spend time optimising the performance of the building for its occupiers. If you read the case study on the engineering work that is creating this vision, it’s obvious that a major driver for this project is to reduce costs and complexity for facilities managers, by integrating a complex bunch of legacy systems.

Dozens, if not hundreds, of businesses have been trying to move this vision into the home. This excellent infographic from GreenTech Media shows the situation for the US alone:

Smart home companies taxonomy

The reality in the home scenario, though, is that we, as consumers (domestic facilities managers, if you will), already have complex lives and will adopt solutions that are reliable and simplify our lives, rather than add choice. We’re not paid to manage our homes in the way a facilities manager is paid to manage an office building.

Consequently, some of the most exciting work in smart homes is being done either by single issue, extremely simple ideas (eg Good Night Lamp) or more ambitious projects to devise single click user scenarios, such as Philips Hue. These are ideas worth watching

Sadly, none of these solutions will help us keep our socks dry when waterskiing.

For more discussion of the influence of the Internet of Things inside the home and out, join us for our CEO Tales on April 2nd on the IoT and Big Data hype or reality.