Every industry (every where) has been bombarded for years about the impending, game-changing ‘internet of things’, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see how overwhelmingly disparate our connected objects actually are.  Lots of stuff, little interaction.

Meanwhile we’re all sat waiting for a hub,  a glue to bind these technologies into something meaningful. And here’s the shocker… There is no hub.  That’s why it’s been such a long wait.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean we should throw the baby out with the bath water, that technology can’t help us ‘in the now’. Some equipment, such as the Switchee meters I’m designing a trial with, seem like a really promising way to detect and reduce fuel poverty among our customers. We’re not expecting it to lock the doors at night or sync with our iPod (do people even have iPods anymore?) but as a solution to our specific problem, fuel poverty, it could go places.

The smart home for us is one that utilises technology to solve a problem, cost effectively. It’s a home that can provide us with information that helps us target help to those who want or need it. It’s a home that safeguards our vulnerable customers while support workers and family are elsewhere.

Even with a clear focus, adopting early solutions can backfire badly, as consumers of Revolv have found out.  Or, in the ebb and flow of government benefit cuts, we might find we’re unable to sustain a building model we’ve spent months designing the technology for. Judicious risk planning is a must alongside implementing new technology.

The long and short of our launch session for ‘Smart Homes – what it means for Bromford’ can be seen in the google slides below. Part of the brief is the exploration of potential new markets Bromford could, and may have to, enter. Technology could be implemented throughout the building and design process to minimize the need for ongoing management. Just a few thoughts!


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