The Holy Grail of the Smart Home: Smooth Connectivity and Integration

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The Holy Grail of the Smart Home

There are so many smart-home gadgets to consider. Thermostats, security cameras, wireless speakers and so much more. Isn’t the digital lifestyle great?
But no sooner do you get your new smart device home when you find out it doesn’t automatically work in synchronous harmony with the rest of your smart ensemble. No plug-and-play here! Setting up and operating individual devices is one thing, but orchestrating a seamless smart-home environment that integrates your full collection of devices is quite another.

Calls for protocols

To interoperate smoothly, disparate smart devices have to be able to “speak” with one another and to do so, they must share a common language known as a “protocol”. But the plethora of protocols causes a cacophony of confusion. Millions of devices are created by thousands of manufacturers for many different purposes with disparate requirements. For example, home surveillance cameras devour a great deal of bandwidth from the wireless network while a motion detector just needs to send a short message when someone enters the room. It’s not surprising that if devices have disparate requirements, their protocols will differ as well. Hence, smart devices exist in a diverse world of protocols designed for different purposes. While many of these protocols are considered standard, that’s exactly the problem. There are already many standards and more are on their way.

Connectivity and user experience

Each protocol is designed for a specific purpose. Astute device manufacturers pair the protocol with the needs of the device. But in the smart home, everything has to work together. Since people freely buy smart devices from any vendor – often without investigating protocol issues – they run into protocol-compatibility problems as they try to integrate their new devices with the rest. The Z- Wave-speaking thermostat is not going to be able to communicate with the smart air conditioner that expects Zigbee. How many home users know this?  To integrate disparate devices into the smart home ensemble, users need to do some research into protocol compatibility. Otherwise, that expensive smart TV might not work with those incredible wireless speakers.

User confusion causes service calls

Many service calls are not the fault of the smart devices themselves, but just their inability to integrate. E pluribus unum. Unaware of the root cause of the problem, users complain about what they experience. “Hey, the new smart thermostat is not working.” Trying to give good support, the call center authorizes a replacement thermostat. But it will not work any better than the original. How could it if the real problem is an incompatible protocol and not the thermostat itself? This happens all the time. Service organizations waste enormous quantities of time and money on diagnoses and replacement of devices without actually pinpointing the root cause of the problem and solving it. Often, proper resolution is beyond the control of any single manufacturer since the root of the problem lies in protocol incompatibility and not in the device itself.

Knowledge is smart-home power

Connectivity is indeed the Holy Grail of the integrated smart home. It’s vital for ISPs to learn all about protocol and other connectivity issues to be able to properly diagnose problems and resolve Otherwise, they might be fooled by misleading symptoms that cost them dearly in terms of money, time, reputation and churn.

Automation does it better

Bringing AI to smart-home user experience and support, Veego automatically detects and diagnoses connectivity issues and alerts users and service technicians to their actual root cause. Veego also automatically determines accurate solutions, deflecting and shortening calls to the service center and, ultimately, making happy smart-home users.

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