Connected homes, or smart-homes as they are commonly referred to are part of a larger market segment called the Internet-of-Things, or IoT for short. The IoT is simply everyday devices being connected to the Internet and therefore becoming “smart”. Smart homes are homes in which common everyday items such as thermostats, door locks and lighting are connected to the Internet thus allowing for interaction and control by the end-user consumer. As smart-home technology expands and price points lower, an entirely new spectrum of functional smart-home devices is entering the market and forever changing how consumers interact with their property and possessions. There are numerous market studies on the growth of the IoT and associated smart-home devices and all of these studies point to tremendous growth that outpaces any prior technology adoption cycle including personal computers and cell phones. The following chart from IoT Analytics presents the connected device forecasts from 6 different sources including; Cisco, Ericsson, Gartner, HIS Global Insight, ABI research and IDC. These various reputable forecasts peg the number of connected devices at between 20B and 50B by the year 2020.
SAN FRANCISCO — The world is a dangerous, unpredictable place — not a bad thing, perhaps, if you’re in the business of selling insurance, making loans or figuring out ways to prevent mishaps.
But these days, technology is changing some of the calculations around risk, whether for car insurance, life insurance, flood insurance or even vacation-related accident insurance, and slowly but surely disrupting the financial core of the insurance business.
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A new type of home management, safety, and surveillance devices is emerging.Dubbed smart home devices and systems, this new type incorporates the capabilities inherent in IoT and provides enhanced benefits for one or more categories pertinent to managing the home. What began as a trickle of products, has morphed to a steady stream of smart home device and system introductions. Starting with networked security taking advantage of broadband capability for surveillance of one sort or another to, more recently, smart thermostats coming fromstart-ups as savvy as Nest, and smart garage door openers from stalwarts such as Chamberlain, products are smart and connected.
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Internet of Things (”IoT”) devices are poised to become more pervasive in our lives than mobile phones and will have abilities to control critical hardware and have access to sensitive personal data. As the number of connected IoT devices constantly increases, security concerns are also exponentially multiplied. In light of the functions IoT devices have access to, it’s important to understand and mitigate their security risk.
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Most smart-home product vendors have Application Program Interfaces (API’s) that allow for sharing data and commands between products at the backend software level. Since by definition a “smart” product is connected to the Internet, information can shared between software systems that don’t require any hardware compatibility within the home at all. Senteri takes full advantage of the various smart-home product vendor API’s to connect with and share data with a large variety of products. This allows for a rich data set to be collected without any device interconnectivity at the local property level. Consumers can benefit from a multitude of smart-home products that each have their own purpose and insurance carriers can benefit by knowing which products are installed, operational and even streaming data to the extent the API’s allow and consumers consent.