I’ve had an ugly month with technology that could have been prevented with predictive analytics. First, our Samsung TV blew a capacitor and would power off when there was a flash of light on the screen and stay off for 30 minutes, then our Samsung dishwasher started making grinding sounds and gave an alert it was leaking water. Both products are relatively new and both fixes (replaced the TV, had Geek Squad work on the Dishwasher) took days to get done and losing both the primary TV and dishwasher wasn’t fun.
Both products are allegedly “smart” products but neither called for help, or alerted me there was a problem before they failed, and neither could tell me really what the problem was or what to do to correct it. Predictive and post analytics are part of what a smart home is supposed to do, but—right now at least—they don’t.
Well Resideo—a spin-off of Honeywell focused on home automation—just bought LIfeWhere and the two together could far better address our pain.
Let me explain.
Predictive analytics is a common capability, and has been for some time, in industrial equipment, and IT equipment. What happens is you have sensors built into most current generation products and these sensors feed a management system that looks for signs of impending failure and then alerts out so that the related repair can be scheduled and completed often days before the part fails.
They capture the information about the needed repair, so the technician arrives with the needed parts and the homeowner isn’t left stranded for additional time waiting for the parts to arrive.
For instance, in the case of my broken dishwasher there was a reset process that wasn’t communicated by the machine, and the parts that the tech needed weren’t in his truck or shop, leading to a potential two-week additional delay while waiting for the parts to arrive.
LifeWhere, had it been used by Geek Squad, might have provided an early warning of the impending failure and/or assured that the truck had the needed parts before it rolled to my home.
Resideo not only makes a variety of connected thermostats but they make components that go into a wide variety of appliances as well—making them an ideal place for LifeWhere to add value. In effect, Resideo provides a good deal of the technology behind the increasing number of smart offerings and now that they are connected to LifeWhere will undoubtedly be changing their product and component specs to better interoperate with LifeWhere’s platform to better assure the result.
While the related service will likely require a service contract and be bundled with some kind of extended warranty, the result would be less, or in many cases, no appliance downtime and far less having to relearn how to hand wash your clothing or dishes, or revert to radio and reading when your TV prematurely kicks the bucket.
Combined, this is the perfect storm of base technology and service which should, once in place, dramatically improve the experience with smart products and bring us one big step closer to the smart home we always thought we would have.
Wrapping Up: IoT Smart Homes
Predictive analytics can be used for other things and, I expect, advances in the related tools will provide for cloud-based management of your IoT devices, as well as an increasing list of things that can be effectively managed. Having this capability increasingly embedded in the appliances and connected devices you have and tied to a cloud-based AI (artificial intelligence) would eventually not only alert repair before you knew you had an impending failure but alert you to uses that might cause premature failure and provide you with real time advice (like how to reset the device), which could prevent the need for a truck to come out in the first place.
Finally, typically a predictive analytics product like this tends to improve the relationship between the customer and the vendor—assuring better customer retention. So, rather than currently thinking I’ll never buy another Samsung product, I’d instead be thinking how great it was that the product was fixed without my having to do anything and before I was inconvenienced. And Samsung could have used the opportunity to upsell me or show me offers on devices I might need in the future, and, after a great timely service experience, I’d be more likely to buy from them in the future.
In the end Resideo + LifeWhere is a potential game changer and the next big smart home advance.