For the purposes of this post, Smart Home Security is a part of the broader Consumer Internet of Things (IoT) solutions; as opposed to Industrial IoT solutions
5 Emerging Trends
1. Smartphones & Apps are enabling adoption of simplified Home Security solutions
Pop quiz: What does it take to build a basic home self-monitoring system?
Answer: Nothing more than a pair of modern camera-enabled Smartphones + 3rd party App
In fact, this could be the 6th (cool) way to re-purpose your old smartphone – as expressed in my previous post “5 ways to re-purpose an old iPhone (or any other smartphone)”
Granted; the above setup won’t be nearly as advanced as a dedicated smart camera system; leave alone a professionally installed (expensive) one
But; it merely exemplifies how the ubiquitous smartphone is enabling users with relatively affordable DIY options to achieve a basic level of remote home monitoring as is with the rest of the Connected Consumer IoT solutions
2. Across the globe; Home Security & Family Safety ranks high amongst consumer’s needs
From a plethora of consumer survey studies carried out over the last few years; Home Security & Family Safety repeatedly appears on the top of consumer’s needs
With rise in consumer’s perception of crime, violence & general threat; Home security is not just limited to emerging markets in LATAM, Africa & Asia; but also emerged markets in the U.S & EU
Some of the common security & safety concerns that consumers particularly hope the Smart Home Security solutions could address are:
Another way to think about end consumer’s priority – Given a choice… which of the following would be of a higher priority to an average consumer? Connected lightbulb(s) that can be turned on through an App OR the ability to self-monitor their residence & family members at any time through a Connected Home Security system?
For this reason alone, Smart Security & Monitoring solutions is best placed to lead the adoption of broader Connected Home IoT solutions such as Lighting, HVAC, Fridge, et al.
3. Smart Security is a ‘lucrative’ segment with limitless opportunities
Plethora of studies show that the Smart Home Security (done right) presents limitless opportunities to all types of value chain players involved
Smart Home Security in many markets is an untapped potential and as such could be a source of ‘healthy revenue’; particularly within subscription based models
Additional monetization models could also include B2B partnership with Insurance Co. providing further benefits to the end consumer by means of premium discounts
4. Commoditization & Choice driving DIY Home Security adoption
Once upon a time… if one wanted a home security & monitoring solution, they typically had one choice… dedicated security installers
Once the sole domain of these singular entities, the Home Security segment is slowly seeing disruption from the technology & wireless segments
Rapid commoditization of Smart Security Hardware (smartphones, sensors, cameras, door-locks, drones & other equipment) as well as 3rd party Apps & Cloud (enabling Self-Monitoring); accompanied by advancements in Wireless protocols are collectively making Smart Home Security solutions accessible to the average consumer; particularly the DIY category
Established OEMs through to Startups,Wireless Carriers and even traditional Hardware Retailers are particularly capitalizing on this über lucrative sub-segment within the broader Connected Home IoT solutions
Whether be it a $15 white-label connected camera from Amazon or a $199 Nest Cam from tech giant Google to a $99 Basic Home Security Starter Kit from (retailer) Lowe’s, a comprehensive subscription service from (traditional installer) ADT and everything in between… customers now have choice
5. Bye Bye ‘One-Size-Fits-All’… Hello Customization!
Rather than a (typically expensive) traditional one-size-fits-all; users are increasingly warming up to the Smart Home Security segment due to the flexibility it presents
Users now have the ability to tailor solutions unique to their to specific needs, lifestyle & budget through a personalized mix-n-match of the aforementioned individual 3 components a typical Smart Home Security solution
3 typical Product & Proposition models within the current Smart Security Paradigm:
“I prefer DIY solution”
BYO Individual Hardware (multiple OEMs) + Self Install + Self Monitor + Self Provisioning of Connectivity (Existing WiFi + LTE Hotspot, et al.)
“I’d like a single OEM ecosystem solution”
Single OEM Ecosystem Hardware-in-a-box + Self Install + OEM’s basic Subscription/Free Monitoring Self-service Platform (App + Cloud) + Self Provisioning of existing Connectivity
“I want a no stress professional solution”
Typically Subscription based Professionally Installed + Bundled Hardware + Professional Monitoring Service (Digital, Automated & Personnel) + Included Connectivity + potential for perpetual Hardware Upgrade inclusion upon re-contract
2 Key Players – Retailers & Wireless Carrier play an instrumental role in the adoption of Smart Home Security (as well as other Consumer IoT solutions)
Depending on their individual capabilities, Retailers & Wireless Carriers could also take the next step in bundling the aforementioned connected security products with monitoring services & dedicated connectivity to create comprehensive (Bespoke / In-a-box) propositions
Propositions could be tiered by inclusions & price to suit different consumer segments & their needs. Examples include Retailer Lowe’s Iris platform and AT&T’s Digital Life platform
As discussed earlier, in addition to the out-of-the-box solution; the DIY category is becoming increasingly popular
Again, the trusted Retailers & Wireless Carriers are best placed to build the broader consumer confidence through the aggregation & ranging of ‘compliant’ products from diverse sets of OEMs; thereby providing choice @ different price points in the process
As with any new tech offering, most consumer segments would prefer to experience the value proposition in person
Thus, Retailers & Wireless Carriers are best placed to leverage their brick-n-mortar (& other channel) assets to create ‘experiential zones’ for the same purpose
Experiential platforms also allow for a ‘deeper connect’ with end consumers; required in matters of ‘confidence-building personal products’ such as Home Security
Thus, Retailers & Wireless Carriers also assume the role of trusted advisors & partners through this process
Support & Service
Retailers & Wireless Carriers could also play a critical role in in bolstering the end consumer confidence by means of after sales support & service provisioning
This could include dedicated hotline, in-store product returns/exchanges/training and even home installation & troubleshooting services
One key challenge facing the mass adoption of Smart Home Security
So… you now have the ability to monitor your home 24X7… but… who else does?
In today’s hyper-connected environment; the primary challenge for any Consumer IoT solution including Smart Home Security is Privacy and… ironically… Security!
It becomes imperative for every player within the Smart Security value chain; from Hardware OEMs to Wireless Carriers, 3rd party Cloud Storage and App developers to ensure their products & services incorporate ‘high standards’ of privacy & security protocols at all times in order to build & maintain consumer trust
In professional security service scenario; particularly where personnel-based residence monitoring is involved; the provider would need to implement additional measures to prevent malicious, immoral & non-consensual use of surveillance equipment such as cameras & drones
Whilst IoT solutions aren’t 100% impervious to malicious attacks; the response time by the respective value chain provider in addressing & fixing the issue will have direct impact on consumer’s trust… lack thereof would only be detrimental to the broader adoption of future Consumer IoT solutions
The topic of IoT-based security itself warrants a separate discussion and as such in forthcoming posts, we will explore the dynamics between Connected IoT & Security in more granular detail
Topics would include device level security, user authentication, network level security as well as Apps & Cloud security.