Integrated Technologies in the Home - Insights from Wi-Charge

by Parks Associates | May. 27, 2019

Prior to Parks Associates’ 23rd-annual CONNECTIONS: The Premier Connected Home Conference, Yuval Boger, CMO, Wi-Charge spoke with the firm’s analyst team to discuss future of integrated technologies in the home.

Yuval participated on the Data Security and Privacy: Empowering Consumers panel on Wednesday, May 22, at 1:15 PM. Panelists who joined him on this session included:

Rob Conant, CEO, Cirrent
Tony Frangiosa, CEO, InstallerNet, Inc.
Christine King, VP, Business Strategy & Partnerships, Puls Technologies Inc.
Alton Martin, SVP Growth and Co-Founder, Trusource Labs LLC, An Everise Company
Renee Soulliard, CMO, Support.com

Q: With the rollout of 5G technologies nearing, what impact will this technology have on connected consumers?

A: The promise of 5G – higher bandwidth, lower latency – enables many consumer benefits, but carries a hidden cost for manufacturers. When devices report more often, and at a higher rate, they consume more power. Existing batteries won’t be able to deliver the true potential of 5G, and thus vendors will have to choose between larger batteries, wired devices or a new option of wireless power delivery. Even today, manufacturers of smart locks and other battery-operated devices “twist into a pretzel” in an effort to reduce power consumption while preserving functionality. This will only get worse with 5G. Consumers will demand these extra features, and manufacturers will have to increase the power budget for their devices.

Q: With smart home adoption flattening in 2018, what must the industry do to reach new buyers?

A: The avoid flattened adoption, the industry needs to re-examine the assumptions that stand in the way of new consumer experiences, and analyze why some customers are resisting the existing devices. For instance, while smart speakers are technically feasible with wired Internet connection, it was high-speed WiFi connectivity that really provided the flexibility to deploy them throughout the house. Similarly, is the need to tether devices to a power outlet slowing down adoption? Are consumers resisting installing devices because of the required cabling? Wireless power can help. Similarly, product designers could historically power devices through batteries – which limit power – or cable – which limits mobility. Wireless power provides a third way which may enable new product categories.

Q: What innovations have you seen that will address the existing needs of the elderly to enable independent living in the smart home?

A: We’re seeing an exciting array of devices that provide dignified and non-intrusive home monitoring of location, physical wellbeing, as well as immediate two-way communications. However, these electronic devices need to move with the elderly and cannot rely on the elderly to consistently remember to charge them. We see wireless power as a key enabler or these devices because it eliminates the need to remember to charge a device, the complexity of removing a monitoring device and plugging it to a charger.
 



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