Remember the Jetsons and their awesome smart home? The 1960s kids’ favorite cartoon is set in the distant year of 2062, where the connected homes become an integral part of families and define the world around them.
So how is it possible that according to Forrester’s 2015 survey only 13% of US households own at least one smart home device? Well, as it turns out Smart Home gadgets are still a hard sell.
One of Internet of Things’ basic concepts is the ability to control products remotely using a smartphone or a computer. And it’s this fundamental concept that became the source of reservations for potential buyers, as they fear the devices could be hacked by intruders or used by vendors to gather data about users’ behavior.
As well, for many potential users this IoT technology remains too expensive and too hard to install, all while its value is not always clear to them.
One possible smart home solution
‘One potential solution comes from Vivint — a Utah-based company on a mission to change the Smart Home World as we know it with its noteworthy subscription based business model.
Like other smart home players out there, Vivint started in 1999 as Apex Home Security Company and changed its focus to provide comprehensive smart home solutions back in 2011.
How? By proving that “home automation” doesn’t have to be a daunting, complicated process that’s expensive and confusing to set up. From their perspective, they hear a lot of concerns from potential customers about how to implement a smart home solution
Issue 1: Smart home solutions are too expensive
Upgrading your home to a smart one can be overwhelming as the costs quickly escalate into thousands of dollars. Vivint and others solve this challenge by offering affordable subscription plans varying; Vivint’s vary between $40 and $80 per month. As well, their customers receive more than $1,500 worth of smart home devices to kick things off, and continue to get their homes upgraded as the months pass by.
Issue 2: Installing IoT devices is just too complicated
Like others in the space, Vivint has a team to help customers customize and professionally install their packages, which takes away the feeling of being overwhelmed. The pros also educate customers on their home’s new functionalities so they can make the most of it after the installation crew leaves. Doing so eliminates the potential frustrations arising from the lack of know-how and makes for a fantastic customer experience. And they have a lifetime equipment warranty, so if a piece of their system isn’t working, they replace it at no charge to the customer.
Issue 3: I already own Echo/Nest/an August smart lock…and my phone’s screen is covered with a billion notifications already and I hate it. Help!
The solution here is in the control system. At Vivint, they hook you up with a smart SkyControl Panel and an easy-to-use Sky Mobile app. No need to wrap your head around multiple apps- everything is conveniently packed in one place.
Vivint’s solution makes upgrading your home into a smart one a lot easier, but if you are not ready to commit to a five-year subscription contract, there are alternatives out there worth exploring.
For example, ZigBee and Z-Wave are working on solutions that simplify the way IoT devices and sensors interact with one another, making smart home concepts even more affordable and easier to bring home than ever.
So, watch out Jetsons, here we come!