The Smarthome and the Internet of Things were once terms bandied about primarily by geeks and 'enthusiasts', but these days you can walk into any social gathering and count on most people having at least heard of the terms. But as always the buzz is way ahead of adoption, which begs the question: what will be the catalyst for getting this stuff into average people's homes? Interestingly, the answer lies in a very familiar product that has been around for decades - home security. That's right, without good ol' home security systems you can forget about your fridge ordering groceries or your toilet... actually, I don't think I want to know what a smart toilet does.
As reported by Anna Johansson at TechnologyTell, iControl, who provides the software plumbing for some of the largest home security vendors, recently published a study on the Smarthome. The results were conclusive regarding home security:
90% of respondents ranked home security as one of the most important elements of the Smarthome. 67% ranked home security as the most important element. 100% said that they wouldn't install a Smarthome system if it didn't include home security.
So there you have it - no home security system, no Smarthome. And to extend that thought one step further, the Smarthome is considered to be the most important application for the Internet of Things.
So a big chunk of the tech world's future seems to be riding on home security. So one might assume that the future of IoT and the Smarthome are in good hands - home security has been around for a long time and is well entrenched in homes everywhere. Well, yes and no. Among affluent homeowners that is certainly the case as the market is virtually saturated, but not so for everyone else (see our post from March 19).
Korner's contention is that today's home security systems are too expensive and complex, and thus exclude the majority of people, such as renters, students and low to middle income homeowners. If home security is so vital to the adoption of IoT and the Smarthome, then a truly broad adoption of both will require a home security system that anyone can use and everyone can afford. At under $100 and with setup in minutes, Korner is offering exactly that. And Korner is based on standardized wireless technology, which provides the basis to expand into other applications over time.
Is Korner the catalyst for the next great wave of technology innovation? Hmmmm... for now we'll settle for 'home security anyone can use and everyone can afford'.