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Home IoT Solutions Adoption Depends on Improvements in Interoperability

We’re surrounded by IoT innovations at CES, but can they all get along in our homes? This was the first topic discussed in the “2020: The Year We Adopt Home IoT Solutions” session Wednesday morning.

SmartHome 2020 Panel at CES 2020
SmartHome 2020 Panel at CES 2020

Stacey Higginbotham, editor, The Internet of Things Podcast, moderated the panel that featured Colin Angle, chairman/CEO/founder, iRobot; Felicite Moorman, CEO, Stratis IoT; and Cezara Windrem, innovation catalyst and head of VR, AARP Innovation Labs.

In the wake of the December 2019 announcement about Apple, Amazon, and Google joining forces and beginning talks to develop an IP-based smart home connectivity standard, smart and connected home manufacturers are working harder than ever before to implement interoperability than ever before.

Moorman explained that Stratis is used in many new apartment complexes around the country—particularly near universities and colleges where people most likely come from a “smart home” and expect that lifestyle to continue without having to worry about their devices working. “The challenge for Stratis,” Moorman said, “is to figure out a way to continue to provide the same interoperability consumers experience in our apartments, as they move on to single-owner homes.”

Along with the concern consumers have regarding interoperability and smart devices, the technology “age gap” is a high hurdle to overcome in adopting in-home IoT solutions. Two of the deterrents for older tech consumer adoption are privacy and security, particularly when a new data breach is publicized.

“How do we talk to consumers about trust and privacy using language they can understand?” questioned Angle. One possibility the panel discussed was a unified label or symbol that easily communicates a device has a certified level of security and privacy, but as Moorman added, “with all symbols or ratings, it shouldn’t ever be a marketing symbol that means nothing.”

Adoption of Home IoT solutions is accelerating, and as devices and services begin to work hand-in-hand to increase interoperability, the faster the benefits of a connected home can make their way into our lives.

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