Research from Gartner has claimed 25% households in developed economies will utilise the services of digital assistants, such as Apple’s Siri or Google Assistant, on smartphones as the primary means to interact with the connected home.
The user experience is an area which has been prioritized by numerous tech giants, including those in the consumer world, as the process of normalizing the connected world moves forward. Although IoT as a concept has been generally accepted by industry, efforts to take the technology into the wider consumer ecosystem are underway.
Connecting all IoT applications under a digital assistant could be a means to remove the complexity of managing the connected home, playing on the consumer drive for simplicity and efficiency. The digital assistant also presents an entry point for artificial intelligence, as appliances and systems in the home can be optimized alongside information available over the internet. Energy consumption, for example, could potentially be reduced as the digital assistant optimizes a thermostats levels dependent on current weather conditions.
“In the not-too-distant future, users will no longer have to contend with multiple apps; instead, they will literally talk to digital personal assistants such as Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa or Google Assistant,” said Mark O’Neill, Research Director at Gartner. “Some of these personal assistants are cloud-based and already beginning to leverage smart machine technology.”
The process of normalizing IoT in the consumer world will ultimately create a number of new opportunities for the tech giants, as the technology could offer a gateway into the home for a number of other verticals. Banks and insurance companies for example, could offer advice to customers on how they could save money on bills, should they have access to the data which is generated in the connected home.
“APIs are the key to interoperating with new digital interfaces and a well-managed API program is a key success factor for organizations that are interested in reaching consumers in their connected homes,” said O’Neill. “In the emerging programmable home, it is no longer best to spend time and money on developing individual apps. Instead, divert resources to APIs, which are the way to embrace the postapp world.”