September #cloudchat recap: Cloud for the connected home

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September #cloudchat recap: Cloud for the connected home

This month, we featured guest moderator Peggy Smedley, of Connected World magazine. Our panelists were Paul Brody, IBM Global Electronics Industry Leader; Joseph di Paolantonio, analyst with Constellation Research; and Jim O’Neill, analyst with Parks Associates. Below is a recap of the chat:

Storified by IBMCloud · Fri, Sep 14 2012 08:54:48

Ever since The Jetsons, we’ve awaited the arrival of a real-life connected home. Thanks to cloud technology, this is becoming a reality. This month, we explored the possibilities of a “smart home” enabled by cloud.
Read our panelists’ full bios here: #cloudchatPeggy Smedley

Q1: More and more devices in our homes are being powered by cloud. Will one day everything be connected?

a1 No doubt… . If you believe Ray Kurzwell, even humans will be connected: Singularity by what? 2043? #cloudchatJim O’Neill
A1: Take a look at David Brin’s “Existence” for an interesting take on #ConnectedHome #cloudchatJosep di Paolantonio
a3 IBM has patented just that .. a smart floor that senses when a person walks, falls, an intruder… #cloudchatJim O’Neill
Even our garage doors can be connected nowadays. Check out @Craftsman AssureLink garage door openers & mobile apps … #cloudchatPeggy Smedley
a1. We have smartphones to thank for this…powerful platforms that can talk directly to the Internet. #cloudchatPaul Brody
a1 On home gateways, 75% of bb connected homes already are networked, too #cloudchatJim O’Neill
Will OSGi be the preferred communication protocol in the smart home, or are there others/better ones out there? #cloudchatAlan Hamilton
@pbrody Would be interesting to look at what BMW has done with OSGi from a car/home integration standpoint. #cloudchatAlan Hamilton
#cloudchat is there a standard for connected home devices? How can we ensure maximum interoperability?Simon Rawlinson
a1 Simon, there aren’t any broad standards yet… and there have to be to make this ubiquitous. #cloudchatJim O’Neill
@RawlinsonSimon If you look at what is being done with IPV6 standards, Zigbee and Z-Wave all are doing a lot. #cloudchatPeggy Smedley
a1. Take a look at the Belkin WeMo switch + it’s connection to If This Then That ( – works with everything #cloudchatPaul Brody

Q2: What’s still needed to make the connected home a reality?

A2 Several pieces: GREAT home gateway, bigger pipe, easier management of disparate channels #cloudchatJim O’Neill
A2 AND Tech support; consumers are faced with more complexity. Need more than a 1-page install sheet #cloudchatJim O’Neill
@ConnectedWMag Utilities, metering, awareness in the home. But segregation of home security in important #cloudchatChris Miller
RFID sensors in all our clothing identifying us all? #cloudchat #cloudchatgerardo menegaz
A2 RFID in clothing is not that far off base…. #cloudchatJim O’Neill
A2: Infrastructure, Sensors Everywhere, #PaaS #cloudchatJosep di Paolantonio
a2. SmartHome vendors must give up the dream of a single-vendor home…it’s a heterogeneous environment. #cloudchatPaul Brody
a2. Also, they have to realize that the dream of ROI from energy efficiency is DOA. It’s got to come from value to user. #cloudchatPaul Brody
@JimONeillParks Security will be key. Without it, this just becomes a high tech way to get robbed #cloudchatErik Anderson
That worries me! RT @JimONeillParks Consumers still worry that being connected opens them up to being hacked, ID theft etc #cloudchatbrandieb13
@KellyMMeade In Philippines, many won’t use e-Pass on Freeways for fear of tracking #cloudchatJosep di Paolantonio
Will those who don’t want to adopt this technology have a choice for very long? #cloudchatSavannah Harper
@SavannahxHarper we all still know somebody who doesn’t have a cellphone, right? #cloudchatPaul Brody
@SavannahxHarper There will always be those who live off-grid – or off-cloud #cloudchatJosep di Paolantonio
@JAdP I love that comment. “From Off The Grid To Off The Cloud.” #cloudchatPaul Brody
A2 Our research shows 2012 smart home revenues at ~$500M; conservative forecast by 2016 of >$3.2B #cloudchatJim O’Neill
A2 Before average Joe jumps on the #smarthome bandwagon, cost, ease of use, and interoperability will need to be addressed. #cloudchatPeggy Smedley
@connectedwmag A1: Absolutely. #Cloud & #mobile connections = new norm. See this @Qualcomm stat? #cloudchat Gertler
In the future chips and computers are ubiquitous and invisible. We won’t know that we are interacting with them. #cloudchat #cloudchatgerardo menegaz
@ConnectedWMag Yes, but much will be transparent, and many won’t even know they are connected #cloudchatJosep di Paolantonio
Can smart home be self sufficient on energy sources through solar and what else? #cloudchatMarcio Rodrigues
@MarcioOnTW I think YES, but it won’t be a big financial to the home-owner, but you will feel good about doing it. #cloudchatPaul Brody
A2 Energy self-sufficiency in a smart home is a great concept… not far off base #cloudchatJim O’Neill
@MarcioOnTW Local on-premise or microgrid renewables will happen, but cutting the Utility cord won’t near-term #cloudchatJosep di Paolantonio
In a more connected home, any new technologies to keep my young children safer? #cloudchatbrandieb13
A2 One of the BIG safety advantages in smart homes is monitoring… #cloudchatJim O’Neill
@JimONeillParks Smart stoves will switch off the heat. Better, ovens can tell the difference between golden brown and burnt! #cloudchatPaul Brody
A2 Want to know what’s happening in the yard? Check the monitor. or your iPhone #cloudchatJim O’Neill
I think there is a generation gap that needs to be kept in mind. My grandma won’t even use life-alert. #cloudchatDavid Cox
A2 David, sooo right. But research shows yopunger consumers totally buy into smart homes #cloudchatJim O’Neill

Q3: Which apps will consumers really use to interact with their homes? What devices will they use them on?

a3. I think apps/devices concept is going away. The new UI is a zero UI. #cloudchatPaul Brody
a3. Look at ground-breaking apps like Flock or services like…no UI after set-up, they just work. #cloudchatPaul Brody
A3 No doubt use will rise. 30% of 18-34-yo say they use apps heavily, compared to 12% of 35+ #cloudchatJim O’Neill
A3 Too many apps to count; THE ONE still isn’t there… it’s in development somewhere. #cloudchatJim O’Neill
a3. The real “UI” will be the “push notifications” in your devices. #cloudchatPaul Brody
A3: Computers, Smartphones, their home appliances – access to #ConnectedData will be everywhere #cloudchatJosep di Paolantonio
@JAdP cold fusion would help to? #cloudchatMarcio Rodrigues
Imagine a world where Human API’s connect to #M2M RT @MarcioOnTW: @JAdP cold fusion would help to? #cloudchatR Ray Wang
Do young generation think a smart home is streaming music and a TV that contains embedded apps? #cloudchatChris Miller
@IdoNotes The TV is just a smartphone accessory now. You don’t buy apps for your accessories…you just use them. #cloudchatPaul Brody
a3 smartphones have the potential to become THE control device for all aspects control #cloudchatMarcus Erber
#cloudchat should insurance companies offer better home cover for smart homes and contents that they can monitor and assess?Simon Rawlinson
A3 Simon, great point. They do if you have “flood monitoring” in case a pipe burst. #cloudchatJim O’Neill
@RawlinsonSimon Yes, I think so. If you put in safety and security systems. They do if you let them put GPS in your car. #cloudchatPaul Brody
A3 Other insurance breaks come for alarmed homes, etc #cloudchatJim O’Neill
One problem with the smart home is the no power times. #cloudchatChris Miller
RT @IdoNotes: One problem with the smart home is the no power times. <- Microgrids and on-premise renewables will mitigate #cloudchatJosep di Paolantonio
@JAdP Smarterhome features will arrive quicker than local power possibilities #cloudchatChris Miller
The smart home would be connected to a larger grid which would know if consumption was high – there would be no more outages #cloudchatgerardo menegaz
@GeryMenegaz Precisely. We’re entering an era of cognitive computing. Check out “Anticipatory Computing”: #cloudchatPaul Brody
a3 I also see a lot of self control, or automatic reaction on certain events (close windows when it starts raining).. #cloudchatMarcus Erber
@GeryMenegaz We have thermostats in Austin that coordinate AC cycles to do just that at a local level #cloudchatErik Anderson
a3 I also think that traditional devices will stay and develop, I mean (tv) remote controls are around for many years… #cloudchatMarcus Erber
@eMarcusNet agree. we will move to more pervasive and less obtrusive devices over time. #privacy must be addressed though. #cloudchatR Ray Wang
@eMarcusNet COBOL is still around, as are typewriters. Old tech gradually retires long past their human makers #cloudchatJosep di Paolantonio

Q4: How is cloud disrupting the home-entertainment industry? What are some examples?

A4 Its allowing consumers to shop for their entertainment without having to get off the couch. #cloudchatJim O’Neill
A4. Connected TV is hitting mainstream. ABI Research expects connected set-top boxes to reach 57 million shipments by 2017. #cloudchatPeggy Smedley
a4. I’m a cynic here. I was a co-founder of Zediva. We need legal reform to free the cloud – esp. in patents & copyright. #cloudchatPaul Brody
A4 ~86% of US HH have pay-TV. Operators see the cloud as THE way to extend the reach beyond the home #cloudchatJim O’Neill
a4. I cut the cord years ago…the ROI is amazing. #cloudchatPaul Brody
A4 Netflix, Apple TV, VUDU, HBOGo. They all have helped the industry move forward… rapidly and sometimes against its will #cloudchatJim O’Neill
A4: From smartphone controlled DVRs to Webisodes the entertainment industry is having a hard time adjusting and rating interest #cloudchatJosep di Paolantonio
A4 video on demand out of the cloud makes your video recorder useless #cloudchatMarcus Erber
A4 Cablevision is looking to deploy set-top boxes that work with the cloud for program guides #cloudchatJim O’Neill
A4: We recently announced we’ll be delivering home entertainment services for Philips Smart TVs #cloudchatIBMCloud
How will the legacy entertainment providers adapt to these changes? #cloudchatErik Anderson
A4 @TalkToErik I think they will have to rethink the way they do business and who they do business with. #cloudchatPeggy Smedley
@ConnectedWMag whether they do or new providers/mediums become prevalent, I’m ready to only pay for and get the content I want. #cloudchatErik Anderson
A4 @TalkToErikThey will customize the content to your specific needs based on your likes just like the apps on your iPad. #cloudchatPeggy Smedley
A4 Legacy content providers still have the power, and they will until new avenues of content creation grow. Nature hates a vacuum #cloudchatJim O’Neill
a4. Content providers online are following cable’s footsteps, from re-runs to original content. #cloudchatPaul Brody
RT @JimONeillParks: A4 A4 TV Everywhere is a hot-button for SPs at the moment… The BEST customer awareness is 26%. #cloudchatJosep di Paolantonio
@JAdP Wow…low customer awareness. PayTV providers see TVEverywhere as a “gateway”…dangerous precedent they want to stop. #cloudchatPaul Brody

Q5: With all of this competition for your living room between telcos, ISPs, tech companies, and others, who will win?

A5 LOL… CONSUMERS! At least along the lines of having everything available easily. #cloudchatJim O’Neill
a5. I’m betting on electronics companies and online providers. They’re focused on the customer, not the regulator. #cloudchatPaul Brody
A5: No one in existence today 🙂 #cloudchatJosep di Paolantonio
A5 – It’s a battle to connect the home. It will come down to price, loyalty, service, and customization. #cloudchatPeggy Smedley
@ConnectedWMag the one who makes it easiest to use and easiest to connect different services/content will get the most $ #cloudchatmylissatsai
A5: I agree that consumers will win, but entertainment will change from scripted to reality shows to augmented reality #cloudchatJosep di Paolantonio
A5 Data Providers whether ISP/Telco/whoever. Being able to provide the bandwidth to support any of this key. #cloudchatErik Anderson
A5 CE industry via smart TVs has huge opportuntiy. Apps for everything, video conferencing, voice. Carte blanche with consumers #cloudchatJim O’Neill
@JimONeillParks I do want video conferencing on my TV. #cloudchatPaul Brody
A5 Great, free video conferencing product… HD, pretty reliable #cloudchatJim O’Neill
@pbrody @JimONeillParks That would bring working from home to a whole new level! I’d have to get out of my sweats more often! Ha! #cloudchatbrandieb13
A5 @pbrody It’s more of a social experience now in your living room than an impersonal one like it was in the past. #cloudchatPeggy Smedley

Q6: Does cloud technology in the home provide environmental benefits?

a6. It could. It probably won’t. We always tend to offset greater efficiency with more consumption. #cloudchatPaul Brody
A6. Consumers want it to be green. As energy costs continue to increase, energy controls obviously will pay for themselves #cloudchatJim O’Neill
A6 Imagine the energy and cost savings if all the devices and electronics in your home “talked” to each other and the smartgrid #cloudchatPeggy Smedley
A6 Interesting report today from MusicTank that streaming has a higher carbon footprint than discs. Hard to believe #cloudchatJim O’Neill
A6: Connected thermostats like Nest can learn your habbits and make changes to the usage of air conditioning / heat #cloudchatAaron Quirk
My water meter is connected, and the utility company can detect leaks more quickly than before #cloudchatAaron Quirk
a6. We still don’t really know how to measure and compare different efficiency options well. Even recycling takes energy. #cloudchatPaul Brody
A6 The potential is there — particularly if you integrate solar power! #cloudchatChelsea Farnam
A6 @callmechelsea Solar will play an even bigger role as more and more people see the benefits of what M2M can do. #cloudchatPeggy Smedley
@callmechelsea Solar still needs to come further down in cost before it will be mainstream or Carbon getting taxed. #cloudchatErik Anderson
@ConnectedWMag Yes, aided by falling prices and innovative financing, Solar will keep growing. #cloudchatPaul Brody
@ConnectedWMag #cloudchat presumably can also provide better control of other env aspects eg water flow for washing machines and showers.Simon Rawlinson
A6: new window AC units can now be connected to wifi and controlled via mobile app – that equals cost and energy savings #cloudchatNathan Strauss

Q7: Outside your home, what places could benefit the most from the “Internet of Things?”

a7. For, it’s connectivity everywhere. I want to take all my work, entertainment, everything with me when I travel. #cloudchatPaul Brody
@pbrody Don’t forget your medical records #cloudchatJosep di Paolantonio
Definitely want more connectivity in my car! #cloudchatKatie Keating
A7 @ThingsSheSaid I agree see the connected car really taking off in 2013. It will be big more than it is now. #cloudchatPeggy Smedley
A7 Connected cars to reduce accidents, control speed to increase fuel economy… #cloudchatJim O’Neill
@JimONeillParks Once cars can drive themselves, insurance companies will prohibit people from driving. We suck at it. #cloudchatPaul Brody
@ConnectedWMag Interested in learning more about the connected classroom. #cloudchatbrandieb13
A7. So many things happening with video conferencing and the classroom #cloudchatJim O’Neill
A7 Traffic control and parking! #cloudchatChelsea Farnam
A7 Platforms, Oil refineries and such could also benefit a lot to reduce risk of environmental risks #cloudchatLars Evensen
A7 That’s a great point about oil rigs and safety… apply that thought to anything and you have an industry of “safe.” #cloudchatJim O’Neill
A7 Also distant medical care … telemetry that once went to the moon is now in doc’s offices and the home, as well #cloudchatJim O’Neill
@JimONeillParks Good point tele-presence will be a part of this #cloudchatJosep di Paolantonio
It’s been a great chat and we would like to thank everyone for joining us today. #cloudchatPeggy Smedley
This has been a blast! Thanks for the opportunity to be part of this IBM et al! #cloudchatJim O’Neill
@ConnectedWMag THANK YOU! It’s been a great chat, very interesting. Great moderation and panel. #cloudchatPaul Brody
Thanks @ConnectedWMag @pbrody @JAdP @JimONeillParks! #cloudchatIBMCloud
If you want to mark your calendar for next month’s #cloudchat, it’s Oct. 11 at 4 p.m. ETIBMCloud

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