The smart home business model is too expensive for up to 80% of the population according to Kevin Meagher. Speaking at CONNECTIONS™ 16, Meahger, SVP Business Development of ROC-Connect, believes the way to get to the larger market is to create a free baseline service that opens up the market for add-ons. He indicates that this is a different model than that of a traditional home security provider.
His comment that our homes will know us better than we know ourselves points to an entirely different market opportunity. As such, he believes that insurance companies will become a player in the smart home market, as the data that the smart home provides could be extremely valuable in terms of understanding risk. He uses the auto insurance industry with its push to actual data mileage plans (e.g. devices on cars to track mileage) as a pointer to the type changes that will be seen in the home insurance industry.
Meagher believes that the smart home will be necessary for the survival of the insurance industry. He also suggests that smart home products are an opportunity for the insurance companies to develop more interactive relationship with their customers. It will also foster new services (e.g. policies that include, say, a smart fire detector that calls the fire station when there is a fire). Meagher believes that there are opportunities for service providers to work with insurance companies as part of an ecosystem that creates value from the big data that is inherent in a smart home.
And ROC-Connect looks to be part of the solution, as it provides a white-label, cloud-based, smart home data aggregation portal and associated app that ties together the various partners (e.g. insurance companies, utilities, telecom providers) and the various elements of the smart home.