(BLOG): July 8, 2013 — I’ve been reading a lot lately about Cisco’s vision of the Internet of Everything (IoE) and how it will change our lives. There have also been a few articles highlighting how forward-thinking people are already linking everything in their house – from the coffee maker to the toaster to the alarms. This is cool, Jetsons-like technology, says Larry Bellehumeur, but…
… it brings up a question: Will the average family like it enough to actually pay for it?
First, SOME people will pay for this privilege, without a doubt, and you will likely see them in line wearing costumes for the latest superhero movie in your neighbourhood! So, we know that there will be some demand for it. However, the trend among many household items that may be connected (like appliances) is to reduce costs, so I question whether there will be mass adoption for a toaster that costs 2-3x as much as a regular one, simply because it can text you to tell you your toast is ready.
One common application that is constantly referenced is the ‘smart refrigerator’, one that can let you know that you are out of certain foods. However, there will be some limitations here – for example, how will it know if you have two or eleven eggs in a container that is closed… How will it know how full your milk carton is?
There are some obvious applications that no doubt are popular today in the field of ‘Smart Homes’. Solutions that link homeowners with their security systems via a smartphone app are becoming more common and they are likely applications that people will pay for. As well, applications/services that allow people to have remote access to or control of key household items (such as a dishwasher, HVAC systems or garage door openers) will be very popular, as they will help provide a higher level of security for the home while also helping to reduce the on-going costs of the home.
As I have said in the past, any attempt to improve the visibility and the breadth of audience in our industry is welcome, and for that, I applaud Cisco’s moves into the IoE field. There will no doubt be some great applications coming out, and with Cisco’s presence in many homes (through their home-based WiFi routers), they have a great platform to offer many key services for the home. I just don’t expect my toaster to talk to my coffee maker any time soon!
HVAC = Heating, Ventilation, Air-Conditioning