The connected home is no longer a 'business-to-geek' market - PC Retail

The connected home is no longer a 'business-to-geek' market

Nest’s François Girodolle reveals his thoughts on the growing smart home category
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The smart home is starting to go mainstream and is no longer just for geeks, so says François Girodolle, head of European product partnerships at Nest.

Now that more retailers are taking on smart products, including thermostats and smoke alarms, more consumers are able to get their hands on the latest smart devices to transform their home and make it smart.

Girodolle said: "The concept of the "connected home" has evolved, both from an industry and consumer viewpoint, as companies develop more thoughtful technologies. These are products that offer more than a simple remote control on a person's phone, but do more for us than we do for it, working quietly in the background and learning the preferences of users to offer personalised benefits. 

"Over the last 12 months, we've launched the second generation of the Nest Protect and introduced the Nest Cam that have revolutionised the way people interact with these previously unloved products, and we've also continued to work with developers across the world to create even more meaningful interactions between the technology in our homes.

He added that businesses are embracing smart home connected products too.

“We've also seen traditional industries embrace this technology, for example Nest products are offered by some of the biggest energy and insurance companies in the world, and millions of customers can get our products at a lower price," Girodolle added.

“The focus should be on continuing to deliver fantastic point products that just happen to be connected and work together. People will not buy a smart home anytime soon – but they will buy a great smoke alarm, thermostat or wireless camera."

But, Girodolle believes it is important for vendors to offer safe products that will not invade a consumer’s privacy.

“If customers invite us in, we'll respect their privacy and be a good guest. We believe the best way to earn trust is to keep the consumer in control of their information and clearly communicate will be used if they choose to share it.

"For example, today we use aggregated data to improve our products, publish industry-changing insights, and of course help our customers know more," added Girodolle.

Nest already has a wide portfolio of smart devices, including the Nest Cam, the Nest Learning Thermostat and the Nest Protect smoke alarm, which can all be controlled via the Nest App.

Last year Google acquired Nest in a deal worth $3.2 million (£2 million), and British Gas also bought AlertMe for £44 million. The fact that these large tech firms are snapping up smart home companies proves it has scope.

But Nest isn’t the only vendor in this market space, the likes of Apple are also bringing new smart products to market.

Apple announced the release of its HomeKit earlier this year, and has started to roll out it line-up of smart accessories. This shows that vendors are starting to take the smart home seriously, and soon enough may hit the mainstream.

Read more: When will the smart home become mainstream?

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