In search of insights from lead users

Forum about all other NON Home automation stuff can be placed here....

In search of insights from lead users

Postby Mlenior » Fri Aug 23, 2013 1:39 pm

Hi all,

At SunIdee (an innovation agency) we are brainstorming about new applications and services in the domain of domotica. We are doing this project for a start-up. We are looking for people like you to think along. We consider you to be ‘lead users’: you are ahead of the crowd and have extensive experience with domotica solutions.

By sharing your experiences and ideas we can get a view of what you really find important in the domain of domotica.

My questions to you are:

What is the application you are most happy with? In other words: what puts a smile on your face when you use it? And of course I would also like to know why.

Which applications, products or services do you find most useful?

Thanks
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Re: In search of insights from lead users

Postby Digit » Fri Aug 23, 2013 10:26 pm

What is the application you are most happy with?

Not an app(lication) in particular. I don't think of domotica in terms of (multiple) applications, as in: an app for this and another app for that. That's not how domotica should be in my opinion. A single UI with which you can control every aspect of your domotica system and retrieve all the information with. Whether it's about temperatures, motion sensors, controlling lights, doors, cameras, thermostat, AV equipment, whatever. It should all be integrated; not just the UI of course - real domotica can only be accomplished when all those 'sub-systems' can cooperate, interact. Simple example: roller shutters from brand A going up and down based on data provided by a light sensor of brand B. Domotica without integration is not possible, it will only increase the number of remotes...
It's may be cool to demonstrate controlling your thermostat with an smart phone app while on holiday in Spain, but that's not what Domotica is about. In my opinion of course :)

Which applications, products or services do you find most useful?
This one is simple: those who are open.
Products (which almost always just cover a part of the 'domotica' domain) that are not open or don't provide a well documented API are not made for domotica, they're made to solve just a tiny part of that domain. That makes them useless for Home Automation very quickly.

But maybe I'm biased, cause I've built my own Domotica system; and I made it work like I think a Domotica system should work...
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Re: In search of insights from lead users

Postby Bwired » Sat Aug 24, 2013 10:53 am

Agree :)
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Re: In search of insights from lead users

Postby AshaiRey » Sat Aug 24, 2013 9:53 pm

Seeing my own software doing so well makes me smile.
Robert's remarks does it too.
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Re: In search of insights from lead users

Postby mhn » Sat Aug 24, 2013 10:20 pm

I agree too, and I haven't built my own software, I use Homeseer. :)

The biggest problem in Home Automation is making things work together.

What put a smile on my face is the tablets that collect it all in an simple UI.

Regards
Morten
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Re: In search of insights from lead users

Postby olof » Sun Aug 25, 2013 8:13 am

Ah, nice chance to dump my subjective and non-neutral opinion on Home Automation (HA) for the mass market! 8)

HA benefits for the typical home resident are available in 3 areas:
A. more convenience
B. higher security
C. smarter use of energy

Each of these categories can provide spectacular results and there are dozens of nice examples. If you are looking for application inspiration, I have provided some interesting links:
http://board.homeseer.com/showthread.php?t=154435
http://board.homeseer.com/showthread.php?t=129195
http://board.homeseer.com/showthread.php?t=161026
amazon.com/gp/product/B004WSQ0JG/ref=cm ... prod_title

Given all these potential benefits, why has HA not become a mass market phenomenon ? HA is the perennial 'next big thing' and has been for the last 25 years...

I believe there are 2 main obstacles to a mass market adoption of HA:
1. Cost-Benefit ratio is not in balance.
The financial cost of HA products is to high for the typical consumer (= mass market) versus the perceived benefits. Many of the benefits listed in the above URL's are nice-to-have benefits and not need-to-have benefits to a typical consumer. As such the typical consumer places a lower financial value on those benefits than the asking price of many HA products

2. Implementation hassles
Many HA products are a pain in the ass to implement, even for technically astute early adopters. Just spend some time in this forum to read all the posts. Poorly written instructions, to many technical standards, poor interoperability between devices, weird GUI interfaces, closed ecosystems, etc.. Others in this thread have already given excellent feedback on this subject.

Some companies have tried to solve these obstacles through various initiatives. However, most of these initiatives are based on 2 assumptions to which early adopters are strongly opposed to:
1. Sell the HA hardware cheap up front and earn money on monthly subscription fees.
2. Reduce the implementation complexity by providing a closed ecosystem (like Apple Itunes/App store) and provide a cloud solution for managing HA

some attempts:
indiegogo.com/projects/canary-the-first ... r-everyone
kickstarter.com/projects/52038469/knut- ... d?ref=live
kickstarter.com/projects/wigwag/wigwag- ... t?ref=card
http://ninjablocks.com/

Cheers,
Olof
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Re: In search of insights from lead users

Postby olof » Wed Aug 28, 2013 8:17 am

Perhaps I should have answered your questions more directly :)

My questions to you are:

What is the application you are most happy with? In other words: what puts a smile on your face when you use it? And of course I would also like to know why.

Which applications, products or services do you find most useful?


For us (high WAF factor): automated scene's. Two examples:
1. Highest WAF factor in our house: Wife comes home end of the day on the bicycle ('bakfiets') with groceries and hungry kid. It's wintertime, cold/raining and she and the kid are tired & hungry. So patience is running thin. As she approaches the house, outside lights come on so she can see where she walks and can find the keyhole easier. As she enters the house, relevant lights go on while the house is already warmed up. Technically not difficult to achieve but very much appreciated by the wife. Note, next step in this scene is to have an automated door lock which senses my wife approaching the door, so that even that step will be automated.

2. Good WAF factor: our garden gate is quite often left open (on purpose (is more friendly to visitors), but we can't see it directly from our house. So, as somebody passes through the open gate the speakers in the Kitchen announce that a visitor is approaching the house. The speaker voice is that of our 6 year old daughter.

Cheers,
Olof
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Re: In search of insights from lead users

Postby Mlenior » Wed Aug 28, 2013 12:07 pm

Hi all,

Thank you for all the replies and sorry for the delayed response.

To summarize what in home automation would give a smile on your face:

1: To be able to integrate everything into one UI.
2: Open software.

And directed to the mass market:

3: A better cost/benefit ratio
4: Easy to install (plug and play)

Does this cover it?

If you can design/choose one option on the domain of security, savings and/or comfort which can't be constructed with the market offerings of today, what would it be?

Thank you for your help all.

Ps: Thanks Olof for very helpful information. Besides, we are very curious what comfort exactly is for you and your family and how HA plays a role in it. Are you willing to discuss this further with us? I'm thinking about a <20 min talk. If you are open to talk, can you contact me? Thanks Maartenlenior@sunidee.com
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Re: In search of insights from lead users

Postby AshaiRey » Thu Aug 29, 2013 10:46 am

You missed one point already mentioned above and that is interoperatabiity.
HA needs a standard protocal or what ever. Now it's always a hassle to tie product X to product Y
Bram
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Re: In search of insights from lead users

Postby Mlenior » Thu Aug 29, 2013 4:28 pm

I figured that was included in point 1. But maybe it isn’t formulated optimal. Glad you cleared that up.
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