In praise of a subscription plan on your smart home and wild Apple speculation

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There’s a battle brewing in the business models for the internet of things between companies that want to offer people a quality service that they control and charge the customer for, and those who are in it for the data or incremental revenue. Kevin Meagher, who is the VP and GM of Lowe’s Smart Home, is my guest this week and he discusses his perspective on the smart home, Lowe’s Iris system and what ultimately will benefit consumers from his perspective. He also shares his thoughts on what it means to be open and how startups can get their products on Lowe’s shelves. He’ll share more at our Structure Connect event in October.

Before we get to Meagher’s interview, Kevin Tofel and I engage in wild speculation about Apple’s theorized wearable possibly launching on September 9 and also discuss the silliness of putting apps designed to engage users on form factors like smart watches, where the focus should be on notifications. Kevin and I also argued about the role of the smart phone in the smart home, and would like our listeners to weigh in by answering the poll questions. I think there are people like me who don’t always have their phone on their person when inside their house and Kevin thinks that most people do. Please tell us what you do and if you identify as a man or woman in the poll below, so we can see who is right. The man or woman thing is because I think men might carry their smartphones more, but have no real idea. Listen up and enjoy!

[polldaddy poll=8275650]

Host: Stacey Higginbotham
Guests: Kevin Tofel and Kevin Meagher, who is the VP and GM of Lowe’s Smart Home

  • Do we want touch screens embedded in our walls?
  • Let’s shamelessly speculate about Apple’s wearable
  • I told people to read about Whirlpool’s connected strategy because it’s worth reading.
  • Why Lowe’s thinks a subscription plan makes sense and benefits the consumer
  • How to get your startup’s products on Lowe’s shelves

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3 Comments

Richard Gunther

I’m in Stacey’s camp on this one—I still want control devices for my home in my home, not on my person. For guests, for convenience, and because I don’t always have my phone with me when I’m home, I want to ensure that as technology improves and progresses, my lights and devices can still function without an app or mobile device.

Brian Medema

Hey Stacey and Kevin,

I’m a 28-year-old guy, and unless my phone is charging it’s either in my hand or in my pocket (at which point I rely on my Pebble watch).

My beautiful wife drives me crazy by leaving her phone lying around all over the house and then forgetting where it is…unless she happens to be wearing an outfit with pockets large enough to hold her tiny iPhone 4S (we’re upgrading her phone after this next release cycle) – which is rare.

For my wife, pockets are an afterthought when shopping for clothes. I will outright reject any pants that do not have roomy pockets, regardless of style.

Thanks for the informative podcast! Really enjoyed the interview with Kevin Meagher!

Stacey Higginbotham

Thanks for the input. I am like your wife in that pockets are a bonus, but not a critical feature in any outfit. Thus my phone is usually on a counter or side table near the last place i was using it. Or in my bag. You should investigate Ringly for your wife. I’m supper excited about the possibilities since I am often within Bluetooth range :)

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