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A Home App to Control Competitors’ Appliances?

Bosch’s Home Connect app, expected to be available later this year, will control appliances, not only from Bosch and Siemens but from other brands as well, according to Claudia Häpp, digital transition project leader for Home Connect at the BSH group, the holding company that owns Bosch and Siemens.

Google’s recent acquisition of smart thermostat maker Nest Labs is fueling the market for connected appliances and the race to engage customers who want to control their home appliances via the Internet. BSH will launch Home Connect for iOS this year and an Android version in 2015. The application is open to connect different types of products, brands, and services.

Speaking at the IFA Global Press Conference in Belek, Turkey, last month Häpp outlined the current level of connectivity in most households:

    In Germany, for instance, four out of five households have WiFi access. At the same time, nearly half of the German population uses smartphones. Up until today, over 50 billion apps have been downloaded from Apple's App store. In addition to that, we have all those from Google Play and other app stores. That means that every person in the world owns about seven apps — even people without smartphones.

“Even though we would like everyone to only buy our appliances, the reality is that about 90% of households own different brands of appliances,” she told Forbes. “People want a free choice of different brands. But they want one simple app to control everything.”

“It's the customer who decides. No one else,” she noted during her presentation, pointing out that 66% of customers would like to control all their appliances with a single app.

Customers will be able to access the features of their appliances via the Home Connect cloud servers from anywhere. For instance, they could turn on the dishwasher, add an additional rinse cycle to the clothes washer, or delay the heating going on if they’re going to be home late. The app will send service alerts and keep the user informed of the status of each appliance.

If BHS is successful with Home Connect, it could amass a huge database of home appliance information, enabling it to analyze how people use their connected devices and what brands and models are most popular. This is the kind of information marketers want in order to design new products, adapt regional offers, and outsmart the competition.

Obviously, BHS competitors are not going to be inclined to share access to their appliances' connected features. They will probably start blocking that access, effectively forcing users to have more than one app to control them.

The Internet of Things market for home devices is just beginning to heat up, and it will probably be a few years before apps such as Home Connect become the standard way for consumers to control their appliances.

This article was originally published on EBN's sister publication EE Times .

17 comments on “A Home App to Control Competitors’ Appliances?

  1. prabhakar_deosthali
    May 30, 2014

    With IOT becoming popular, there is a chance for the Home Appliance Manufacturers to reduce their cost for controller development.

     

    What these companies can do is to provide the basic drive electronics ( Motor control – On/off speed and direction control), Water level control ( inlet, drain etc) and so on.

    The App developers can then independently develop Apps for various washing sequenecs for washing machines or the recipe sequenecs for microwaves.

    This will reduce the cost of development for the OEMs and the smart programmers will get a chance to market their Apps for various appliances .

     

  2. ahdand
    May 30, 2014

    @prabakar: Yes indeed the possibilities are really high and not only for them for others too. Things will be pretty easy if we use it properly and wisely. 

  3. Himanshugupta
    May 30, 2014

    Companies are increasingly breaching upon consumer data without their knowledge or consent. I hope that govenment take a notice of this situation and protect the personal data.

  4. ahdand
    May 30, 2014

    Each and every industry (even the ones whom we never thought of) are moving towards the world of IoT. It’s a good sign indeed.

  5. Houngbo_Hospice
    May 30, 2014

    @Himanshugupta:

    There will be regulatory laws and policies for privacy and security. However, that will never guarantee a 100 percent protection against rogue companies and orgnizations if they decide to collect user dat data for personnal motives.

  6. Houngbo_Hospice
    May 30, 2014

    @prabhakar_deosthali

    Of course, the potential value of the IoT is tremendous. It will bring an unprecedented economic opportunity for businesses, governments, and people.

  7. Eldredge
    May 30, 2014

    @Himanshugupta – Collecting and maintaining personal data without consent and a legitimate reason should be prohibited, but it happens. And while the government should put in place protections, government agencies are sometimes guilty parties as well.

  8. Himanshugupta
    May 31, 2014

    @Hospice_Houngbo, i agree that there will be individuals and organizations whose intentions of using the personal data will be completely driven by profit. But alteast govenment should putup some agencies or forums where consumers can complain if they find anything that is not inline with moral and ethical practices.

  9. Himanshugupta
    May 31, 2014

    @Eldredge, i agree that government agencies or guidelines do not guarantee the protection of the personal data but only government can start putting up guidelines or laws. I guess these demands will become more visible with the growth of the big data and analytics related activities.

  10. Ashu001
    May 31, 2014

    Prabhakar,

    The IoT Holds massive-massive potential as things stand today.

    Unfortunately for most Companies today;these Seperate Devices/Electronics work as a major Marketing Symbol.

    I doubt if most will readily agree to make this Transistion today.

    Its one thing to agree on a common set of Standards but to leave everything else to independent App Developers,etc won't happen.

  11. Ashu001
    May 31, 2014

    Himanshu,

    That is a fair statement to make.Unfortunately;the Rules of Engagement are largely in the hands of the Consumer themselves.

    The More aware and knowledgeable Consumers are making that choice accordingly today  to avoid being spied on by Companies.

    As for your Hopes that the Government will protect us?

    Atleast in the US,UK ,Russia and China those Hopes are too high.

    After all(as all the Revealations from Glenn Greenwald on the Intercept have clearly showed ),its the Government itself which is spying on us now.

    https://firstlook.org/theintercept/news/

    https://firstlook.org/theintercept/documents/

     

     

     

  12. Ashu001
    May 31, 2014

    Nimantha,

    As you have very clearly pointed out-The Qualifier is “Properly and Wisely”.

    What hope is there when Governments openly Spy on all their Citizens(including in so-called Democratic and Free countries)?

    More here

    http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/05/snowden-system-pervasive-pre-criminal-surveillance-government-wants-watch-youre-just-see-youre-see-youre-think.html

  13. Ashu001
    May 31, 2014

    Hospice,

    What about Governments which purposely spy on all its Citizens?

    http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/05/snowden-system-pervasive-pre-criminal-surveillance-government-wants-watch-youre-just-see-youre-see-youre-think.html

    How do you plan on controlling them?

    When the Rule of Gun is the only rule out there;one has no choice but to maintain a significant degree of Obfuscation and Anonymity out there.

     

  14. Ashu001
    May 31, 2014

    Hospice,

    But how do you feel we(as a Society) should make this Transistion?

    Slowly-Slowly or in a massive Rush?

    Also,do we have the Resources to make a massive Rush towards an all encompassing IoT?

    Most Governments are today Bankrupt,Most Consumers are Tapped out and Most Corporations(atleast those that have the cash) won't invest unless they a potential market today or sometime in the near and immediate future(after all they have shareholders and investors to respond to as well).

     

  15. Ashu001
    May 31, 2014

    Himanshu,

    Yes you are right.

    Such organizations/Agencies are coming slowly-slowly.

    Witness the recent European Court Judgement against Google-Called the Right to be Forgotten.

    Google no longer has the right to index information related to somebody against their free will.

    We will see similar stuff happening in the IoT space as well.

     

  16. Ashu001
    May 31, 2014

    Himanshu,

    It will happen in due course of time as the chorus for these demands gets louder and louder over time.

    Till then,We (as most of us are Enlightened consumers here) have to take action and keep things entirely in our own hands.

    We need to retain control here.

     

  17. _hm
    June 1, 2014

    These all sometimes looks good. Has EU and other safety authorities needs to approve this?

    What about insurnace view? In case of mishap, will they agree to reimurse or we are on our own?

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