Making the connected home more personal

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Consumers will increasingly use digital personal assistants to interact with consumer services in the connected home, according to Gartner.

Gartner predicts that, by 2019, in at least 25 percent of households in developed economies, the digital assistants on smartphones and other devices will serve as the primary interface to connected home services. “In the not-too-distant future, users will no longer have to contend with multiple apps; instead, they will literally talk to digital personal assistants such as Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa or Google Assistant,” said Mark O’Neill, research director at Gartner. “Some of these personal assistants are cloud-based and already beginning to leverage smart machine technology.”

Digital personal assistants show the potential to satisfy wants and needs by delivering experiences that connect services, configure devices and even order and deliver products. Personalised, context-aware information can also be presented as it is wanted or needed — for example, suggestions for restaurants near planned meetings, or recommended temperature settings for the home to optimise energy consumption and comfort in line with the weather.

“Consumers don’t want to deal with separate proprietary apps for each type of connected device in their home,” said O’Neill. “Rather than individual apps, it is the interactions between devices — as well as with service providers and external data sources — that are most compelling to consumers. These interactions make it possible to create, detect and respond to ‘business moments,’ which Gartner defines as transient opportunities that are exploited dynamically using digital technology.”