Home Automation and Security: The IoT Gap

To say that technology is advancing at an exponential rate is to state the obvious. It is similar to stating that the Olympics are an international sporting event. We all know that. What’s challenging about technology is that it often advances at speeds faster than are useful to us at the current time. Take the Internet of Things (IoT) and its relation to home automation and security, for example.

The concept of home automation and security is very familiar to consumers. But we have been limited in exploiting the potential of the concept by technological limits. Now that those limits are quickly disappearing, we can do a lot more – at least in theory. We can tie virtually every electronic device in a home together in order to control things remotely or program them according to our schedules. But making everything work as it should requires the proper application of the IoT. And that’s where the speed of technology comes in.

IOT Data Collection Gap?

The IoT is that collection of interconnected devices that use the internet to communicate. The navigation system in your car is part of the IoT; so is your cell phone and your new smart thermostat. Even the wireless video cameras that let you monitor your kids while you are at work are part of the vast IoT network.

Now, consider this: every one of the devices communicating via the IoT also collects data too. That data is used by service providers to offer the functionality consumers enjoy from their wireless devices. So what do companies do? They collect and store as much data as humanly possible – whether they need it right now or not. In other words, Big Data is a big part of the IoT and, by default, home automation and security.

This is a great things, except for the fact that we are collecting a tremendous amount of data which we have not been able to utilize to speed up to close the IOT gap. Big Data which is required to meet customers demands is advancing at a tremendous rate, that outpaces the development of actual home automation and security equipment. At the same time, the capabilities of the equipment is evolving at a faster pace than software developers can effectively keep up with. So we essentially have three different elements progressing at different speeds within the home automation and security space. It begs the question of how to manage and implement data to create the expected results.

Perhaps the industry would be better served by improving the quality and pace of device development to meet the demand for advanced technology. Standardization is a case in point.

Standardization Will Make It Work

Despite the increasing demand for DIY home security and automation across the U.S., it is still far from enjoying mass adoption. The primary inhibitor of mass adoption is a lack of standardization. In other words, device manufacturers and software developers all have their own ways of doing things. That ultimately leads to systems that can only communicate within their own ecosystems. In order for mass adoption to become a reality, we need some standards that will create a much larger ecosystem enabling every device and software platform to effectively communicate.

The IoT is at the center of the universe for home security and automation, however, its progress isn’t keeping up with the evolution of Big Data. The good news is that it will eventually catch up given enough time. And when it does, there is no limit to the kinds of strategies we can deploy to create a truly smart and safe environment, both, at home and at work.