Monday, June 1, 2020
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 Home Connect’s

‘Smarter’ Digital Ecosystem 

When it comes to the connected home market, the concept remains alluring, the technology is mind-blowing and when it all comes together, as Ella Fitzgerald once sang... the living is easy.

However, the smart home landscape remains a bit fragmented. Many in the space claim the market lacks a proverbial killer app. There has been a kind of lingering need for a translator to bridge the gap between devices and appliances that don’t speak the same language.

Here’s where Home Connect comes in – and the digital ecosystem they are building that connects smart appliances to the Internet of Things. Multiple brands in one app build the foundation for what Home Connect feels is the most powerful open ecosystem in the industry. The goal continues to be providing an open platform that offers the consumer a unique experience: to have all their appliances across all categories from different appliance brands in a single app.

The company has also recently announced several new services, such as Google Assistant and Crestron, that highlight Home Connect’s ever-strengthening ecosystem, and that continues to welcome new additions across its three core areas of focus: Voice Assistants & Smart Home Integration, Connected Devices & Services, and Food & Recipes.

Johannes Ochsner, head of connected products and digital services, explained how and why the company has cast such a wide net in this market.

“Home Connect offers so much more than the ability to turn on or off appliances. Our open platform enables us to continually bring on new partners and brands that enrich and add convenience to users’ daily lives,” explained Ochsner. “Through voice control, recipe inspiration, help managing household tasks and by being the connected appliance solution integrated with more professional smart home systems than any other on the market, Home Connect truly offers the richest experience available to consumers today.”

That net includes some of the biggest names in the connected home space, including Crestron, Control4, URC, ELAN, Josh.ai and Yonomi, to name but a few.

The Thermador Builder Kitchen, offering a premium, enhanced culinary experience via Home Connect.

As the CEO of Josh.ai, Alex Capecelatro, makes clear, this is merely the beginning of where Home Connect is taking the smart home. “We’re excited to partner with BSH and Home Connect as a fellow innovator in the connected appliance, and in particular, the connected kitchen, space,” Capecelatro said. “While kitchen and bath appliances are emerging areas for traditional A/V integrators, BSH shares our passion for a truly connected home that provides an amazing user experience. We’re both focused on the luxury segment, and it’s always a joy aligning on ways to deliver the best for our shared clients. This is just the beginning in a journey to push the limits on what’s possible in the connected home. We couldn’t be more excited to work with such a forward-thinking organization.”

The goal of the ever-strengthening Home Connect partner network, as the company explains, is to deliver convenient, customizable solutions that enhance experiences for daily living. Through its powerful open platform, Home Connect provides the consumer an infinitely growing network of partners, products and services to enhance their experience.

“Our open API allows Home Connect to attract a growing number of partners, from tech giants like Amazon and Google to innovative startups. To ensure Home Connect is offering the best possible experience for users, Home Connect works closely with all partners that express interest in joining the ecosystem to ensure they offer a valuable solution/service, and Home Connect also proactively seeks out the most innovative startups that will bring something new to the ecosystem,” Ochsner added.

This Home Connect-enhanced office, complete with a Thermador refrigerator/freezer, under-counter wine reserve, and Alexa-enabled coffee machine, is a multi-purpose space for work, workouts and relaxation.

Smart Home Market Gaining

Though far from being labeled mature, the smart home market continues to gain momentum. According to recent data from Strategy Analytics, some 46% of U.S. broadband households have at least one smart home device today. That works out to some 47 million households. “Clearly, smart home is a topic that people understand,” said Bill Ablondi, director, smart home systems at the research firm Strategy Analytics. “Ten years ago, that wasn’t the case.”

That Killer App

The intuitive Home Connect app allows you to control your home appliances and access services with ease, whether you are at home or away. The app creates an array of experiences that are personalized around the way the homeowner lives their life. You can remotely control, monitor or start your appliance from wherever you are and get an enhanced culinary experience with inspiration and guidance from recipes that can send instructions directly to your appliance. Home Connect simplifies service of the appliance, with tips and tricks for using and maintaining your appliance, remote diagnostics and easy access to manuals.

The ever-growing Home Connect ecosystem stems from the aforementioned three core areas of focus: Food & Recipes, Voice Assistants & Smart Home Integration and Connected Devices & Services. It enables users to control the full kitchen suite with ease by using voice commands, controlling their products directly from their favorite recipe app, creating routines and alerts that interact with other smart devices in the home for added convenience, and the enjoyment of a simplified smart home solution – through professional whole-home integrations, voice assistants, and connected devices and services.

“Another essential element of Home Connect-enabled appliances is that their experiences continually grow over time,” Ochsner said. “As new partners and services join the ecosystem, consumers enjoy updated and enhanced ways to experience more from their appliances.”

This Barking Lot space is custom configured as a vignette where the appliances are dedicated to keeping pet necessities precisely preserved.

A Vital Foundation is Being Laid

As Home Connect continues to build their ecosystem and add partners, an important foundation is forming in the smart home market.

“Multiple brands in one app build the foundation for the most powerful open ecosystem in the industry,” Ochsner continued. “As an open platform, Home Connect offers the consumer a unique experience to have all their appliances across all categories from different appliance brands in a single app.”

Ochsner explained that while he feels voice assistants like Alexa or Google Assistant brought the smart home to the mass market, professional smart home integration offers the ultimate in personalization and automation. “Professional whole-home integrations allow the consumer to experience their appliance in a more seamless and innovative way beyond their expectation,” he said.

With regard to the market’s immediate future, Ochsner knows that convenience and simplicity are at the core of what will drive consumer desire in the years ahead.

“Consumers want solutions that make their daily tasks more convenient and simplified, and we expect that to continue to be the focus of the connected home space,” he said. “Home Connect will continue to grow its ecosystem to provide more partners, devices and services that offer more customization and convenience to our users.”

Home Connect is available in 40 countries and is offered in the U.S. and Canada through BSH Home Appliances Corp.