People will build their connected home bit by bit, but tools like SmartThings can speed adoption

There will come a day when you walk into an appliance store and, instead of seeing a row of plain old analog coffee machines, you see connected coffee machines. When that happens, buyers who were never familiar with the internet of things will suddenly find a smart fridge in their kitchen.

The conversion to a smart home will happen bit by bit, SmartThings CEO Alex Hawkinson said at the Gigaom Structure Connect conference Wednesday. And when they do, SmartThings, which offers a kit to quickly connect and monitor an entire home, will be there for them.

“We’ll try to make it really easy for consumers to get a lot of value from the individual items they buy,” Hawksinson said. “The internal comment is there won’t be one smart home. There will be a a billion smart homes.”

He said that users who log onto SmartThings generally start with five connected devices. But 30 days later, they have 10.

“Users will buy a kit solving a specific problem, like monitoring for moisture in their house. They will discover the other use cases in the context of our app. They’ll expand their usage into these other arenas,” Hawkinson said.

Consumers will also realize that the smart home isn’t just about controlling appliances from your phone. Connected devices also collect data, and that data can be sent directly to the appliance’s manufacturer or even a handyman.

“I think there will start to be services … that tap into the data from the house and let you know that you need a … maintenance person before it breaks down,” Hawkinson said. “The service person is there, they have this data from your connected home. It will influence your buying because you can see the savings you are getting.”

Photo by Jakub Mosur

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