I’ve spent my morning doing something every PR will have done at some point — creating a ‘briefing book’ for a client event. We’ve 24 journalists showing up, which we’re quite proud of, but that’s another story!
I’ll get to the point. Basically, at the end of each journalist profile we like to put in some recent articles the journalist has written so clients can get a flavour of their style and what’s been on their mind, by way of a conversation starter. Every single journalist (all consumer tech and national guys and girls) that I’ve put into the book today have a link to a story about a smart home product as their most recent article. All of them. I’ve read about LG refrigerators and Nest updates alongside all-seeing doorbells to name a few.
This got me thinking… is now the time?! I’ve worked in consumer tech PR for nearly 10 years now and, while I have a Nest at home (for heating control and more recently as a baby cam), and there is a lot of chatter in the industry about IoT, it has never really seemed to take off to be a must have.
For me, two things need to happen…
- Smart home technology being integrated as standard: With the number of new homes being built each day hitting the highest level since the financial crisis, it should be time to start seeing smart solutions built into plans from the start. This would enhance consumer understanding as more people would have the opportunity to engage with the technology and drive demand and hopefully reduce costs for those integrating into existing homes.
- Associated apps start working together: One of the best things about Nest and something that I bang in about to non-users is the fact it works with IFTTT, meaning that in the winter as soon as I drive past a point within 20 miles of home the heating comes on making for a nice toasty entry. It is this everyday pleasure that far outweighs the fact that one day it might save me some money, because for it to do that, I actually have to do some of the work too! I don’t want to have to work for my smart home, I want my fridge to know I ran out of wine and automatically order it on my next Tesco shop — doesn’t everyone surely?!
All in all, I do believe that one day we won’t be able to live without our smart home devices, and we are starting to see more enter the consumer consciousness, like Alexa, but in the meantime now is as good a time as any for the next big product to come along and give the industry a little (or massive) kick start.