July 23, 2014

Study Shows Consumers are Interested in Smart, “Connected” Appliances

In the not too distant past, it was the stuff of science fiction for people to have “smart” homes – those houses that lit up and co-ordinated timers, alarms, coffeemaker and dinner each day as you awoke in the morning and arrived home at night.

Today a study by Connected Home Research Council (formerly the Internet Home Alliance), the research arm of the Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA), shows that the number of Web-connected households in the United States that consider the idea of a connected home “definitely appealing” has held steady since 2005.

One important finding of the study is that consumers would like their appliances to be part of this web-based system. Consumers are less interested in “automated” homes than having the appliances and electronic devices within their residences communicate and interact with one another.
“What consumers want most is an easy, seamless way to integrate their smart-home devices, their mobile device, their TV, their appliances, you name it,” said Whirlpool senior manager Carol Priefert.

Some findings from the study show that while many households have high speed internet access, not everyone is prepared to have their household appliances communicatiing yet.

Nokia’s Smart Home Solution

Is this an idea who’s time has come? 

The Smart Home.

The new Nokia Home Control Center, a Linux-based platform that will control your house’s resources via your mobile phone.

According to Nokia, the platform is open allowing third parties to integrate their own smart home solutions and services; its core consumer value is the plug and play experience across all solution areas with high security levels built in. All solutions based on the platform can be used through a smart phone or PC locally or remotely. Consumers can monitor and control their electricity usage, switch devices on and off, and monitor different objects, such as temperature, camera, and motion. In future, entire systems within the home can be connected to the Nokia platform, including security, heating, and ventilation systems.That way, you’ll rarely come across an incident where some new smart home tech you bought doesn’t actually work with your main controller. NHCC works with Z-Wave, ZigBee and KNX, three of the most common command languages for home networks.

Further, Nokia has started working with a number of companies to define and create a solid basis for building the next generation of products that will introduce a new kind of mobile access to intelligent systems at the home. These collaboration partners include Danfoss, Delta Dore, Ensto, and Meishar Immediate Community (MIC) and Zensys. The Nokia smart home partner program is structured around five key areas which mobile access will open up, creating new opportunities for the next generation smart home. These are security, energy efficiency, wellness, construction, real estate, and smart home solutions.

The Nokia Home Control Center will be launched some time in 2009.