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.
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.
HomeClub Specialty Products, why Cellular vs. Wi-Fi Senteri’s proprietary HomeClub wireless sensor system utilizes a cellular Hub vs Wi-Fi. This design specification was required by our first insurance carrier partner that insisted on a cellular system with a backup battery primarily to ensure that the HomeClub Hub continues to work when power is lost to the property. It is during power-outage situations that it is often most important to keep tabs on the property and understand to the extent possible what is or has happened. The HomeClub Hub itself, since it is plugged into a power outlet, is able to monitor power status of the property and report when power is lost and when it is restored to the property. This is valuable knowledge for residents and property managers. The HomeClub Hub also monitors temperature so conveniently reports on indoor and outdoor temperature along with power status of the property thus providing baseline value to the consumer. Some other benefits of cellular vs. Wi-Fi include: