The term “connected home” or “smart home” has been around for decades. In the 90’s and 00’s, a lot of consumer electronics companies and component makers published drawings with home servers, gateways, and all types of home devices talking to each other and sharing files. I remember, in my past life, I used to draw similar things on powerpoint and announced a lot of partnerships and initiatives . However, none of those concepts became a mainstream hit.
Fast forward some 15-20 years and we now see an explosion of connected home IoT devices–Nest, CubeSensors, Lockitron, SmartThings, Canary–the list goes on and on (see here and look at IoT Home). I think it’s too early to say these devices have “crossed the chasm” and gone mainstream, with exception to perhaps Nest that was said to reach 1 million unit shipments in 2013. So what makes today’s connected home devices different or better than its predecessors? Here are my personal opinions/observations from having lived and worked through the two generations.
There may be more reasons and angles to seeing this phenomena, but these are what it boils down to me. We are at a very exciting time in the connected home front with hundreds of new products making their debut on crowd funding sites. Let’s see how many of them survive the market test and eventually make it across the chasm to hit everyone’s (including my parent’s) home.