A tough couple of weeks for the affordable smart home! I’ve finally managed to grab a few days off work during the school holidays after a whirlwind start to 2016 and during this time off I’ve caught up with industry news.
The headline grabber has been Nest with the speculation surrounding its lack of new product developments and the switch off of Revolv services. Revolv never made it to the shores of the UK, despite its memorable crowdfunding campaign. Many professional technology installers and homeowners waited for this multi-lingual trojan horse to arrive here, but U.S. centric focus and the shock Nest acquisition dashed any plans for widespread affordable home automation. Nest are the smart home pin-ups in the UK with widespread advertising, adoption by energy providers, a strong Nest Pro network and availability in department stores.
It’s unusual for the UK press to report on home technology but Nest has peaked their interest. Consumers are a wary bunch when it comes to home tech and talk of impatience with Nest from Google will plant small seeds of doubt. If they dig deeper they will read of slow development with Works with Nest, Thread and Weave, many won’t dig any deeper but two-plus-two may equal five for some.
For the new entrant to smart home installation, Nest has been a great gateway product range with smart thermostats, smoke detectors and security cameras being an easy sell for a tech savvy electrician or AV technician. News speculation surrounding Nest may have less impact on professional installers but it will provide a moment for product review.
Nest have always played nice with the leading automation platforms including Control4, Savant and Fibaro, among others, and herein lies the greater opportunity for the recent entrant to smart home. In many cases you can retain the Nest products for heating control and home monitoring, but now add integration with other home technology services such as lighting management, intruder detection, audio distribution and motorised curtains/blinds on a single home automation platform.
Use the skills gained through Nest installations, from the sales process through to the customer handover and aftercare. Use the access to integration as the spring board for your installation business to evolve. Use any homeowner facing technology press to highlight your professional installation skills and services.
DIY is an aging pastime in the UK, we’re now in the Do It For Me era. However, it is quickly changing into the Do It For Me and Look After It For Me era. Homeowners will use your support services as a big part of their decision making process when choosing their service provider. How to support them is a good point to start another blog….