A report compiled from nearly 1,300 U.S. consumers in April 2016 provided insight in terms of why customers are interested in smart-home services, what features they really want, and how they intend to use smart-home technologies. According to the report, the real desire of consumers is services, or smart home as a service (SHaaS), as opposed to a collection of connected devices. SHaaS is the subject of Qorvo’s white paper titled, “What is SHaaS? And why should you care?”
Home automation devices have actually existed for decades, allowing people to remotely control doors, windows, environment, entertainment, etc. The X10 communication protocol, which was introduced in the 1970s, enabled wireless control of a wide range of in-home devices. The document asserts that many of today’s smart-home devices are only slightly more sophisticated than X10 systems, with a smartphone being used in place of—or in addition to—a local remote control.
Converting a basic connected device to a smart device requires three additional capabilities. First, the device must connect to and communicate with other smart/connected devices in the home. It also needs to be intelligent, meaning that a smart-home solution must recognize a home’s normal behavior so that proper action can be taken when something unexpected occurs. Lastly, all functions need to be managed from a single application on a web-connected device, such as a smartphone or tablet.
Utilizing a SHaaS ecosystem can reduce redundancy and maintenance. For example, a single sensor can be used for a range of applications. A motion sensor could be used to control lighting, manage the home environment, and more.
A description of four basic components in a SHaaS application is provided. The first component is a network of sensors in the home. Secondly, a local hub wirelessly collects the information derived from these sensors. This information is securely transmitted to an intelligent cloud service that collects and analyzes the data. A central management app for the consumer and service-provider support are the third and fourth components, respectively.