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SMART HOME FEATURE NEWS

Smart Homes Require Smart Service

By Cynthia S. Artin October 24, 2018

Smart homes are getting smarter!

At the turn of the century, could we have even imagined a home with dozens of connected appliances, systems and physical security solutions?

Zion Market Research predicts the smart home market will reach over $50 billion by 2022.

Voice activated assistants are adding fuel to the bonfire, with runaway successes with Alexa, Amazon Echo, Google Home and more growing in popularity.

AI is another accelerant, as our digital assistants become wiser, and more and more features are added to popular devices and services like Ring.

Our appliances – from water heaters to refrigerators – from smart TVs to safety systems – are becoming more sophisticated, with more features, and this is leading to an important question – who will be there to help when consumers need real time support as they become more reliant on their home’s digital instruments?

According to Zohar Frankor, Product Manager for KMS lighthouse, “In today's world companies are adding more Artificial Intelligence (AI) services to their contact centers and sales teams, to help customers receive quicker answers to frequently asked questions and make an educated self-service smart purchase.”

In a recent blog, Frankor said, “Chatbots and voice assistants are only as good as the data behind them. Meaning, if Google Home was not accessing Google, but some internal limited knowledge repository, the answers to questions would be limited. Customers would be less satisfied, and Google Home would be far less successful.”

Lighthouse has designed connectivity to Chatbots like Facebook and Voice Assistants including Google Home and Amazon Alexa, allowing companies to externalize knowledge on any device with a visual display or voice interface.

Frankor shares an example of this saying, “Consider the couple who just bought a new smart refrigerator, but after 12 hours of being plugged in, the refrigerator's display reads "Error 103". To get this sorted, they would need to call the company’s tech support during their working hours 9am-7pm, while being physically near the refrigerator.”

Lighthouse adds instant self-service on smart appliances, reducing the requirement to call for help, and extends messaging to smartphones so consumers can be alerted when there may be a problem – for example, in this case, ensuring the refrigerator is working and food is not being spoiled.

Another use case shared by Frankor is something as simple as a water filtering machine that collects data on the usage and output, used to calculate the need to replace filters.

“Generally, filters need to be replaced every three months or after 150 liters of water is filtered, but of course this depends on how many people are using the water filter and how much water they are consuming,” Frankor said. “More than the technology per se, IoT companies are winning when they deliver value to their customers with innovative models, for example sending a text message with instructions on when and how to replace a filter. That message can also include a special deal or discount.”

An easy-to-integrate and smart database can create differentiation in competitive markets, and for Lighthouse, combining real time human communications enhanced by machine generated data will be the next big thing for companies selling smart appliances into smart homes.




Edited by Ken Briodagh

Contributing Writer

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