Is it Too Late to Get Into the Smart Home Market?

Rich Tehrani : Communications and Technology Blog - Tehrani.com
Rich Tehrani
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Is it Too Late to Get Into the Smart Home Market?

Nest is doing a number on HVAC companies the way the iPod and iPhone did to music players and phones. Yet, as we have detailed before, as gorgeous as Nest thermostats can be, they can also be problematic, if your wiring isn't compatible.

We detailed recently how we had to run a C-wire to one of our thermostats to prevent it from turning on the air conditioning when heat was needed. We still have another thermostat which probably needs a C-wire as well or some software modifications to prevent the same problems. More to come on the matter next spring.

Nest, for its flaws has the first-mover advantage. Unless it goes the way of Uber and has a string of harassment issues and other dubious behavior, it will be very difficult to catch them. This of course is even before they had the power of the search monopoly, Google behind them.

Is there room for a new entrant we wondered? Honeywell has done a good job being Honeywell. They make solid products which aren't always slick but which work with your home, smart or not. 

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Enter Bosch, with their sharp-looking BCC100 thermostat.

This is the product the company didn't want to make. It is the wrong price-point. It is not revolutionary. It does not scream premium.

Bosch kitchen appliances have always been impressive. Their dishwashers brought super-quiet cleaning to eating areas around the globe. Their quality was top-rate and their designs, gorgeous.

The BCC100 however is gorgeous in our view but so is Nest. There is little room for differentiation. The unit also needs a C-wire to function correctly - so no improvement there.

The good news is, it does differentiate by controlling humidifiers and dehumidifiers.

But it doesn't have a motion sensor, doesn't support geofencing and doesn't connect to a smart-hub or smart-home system.

In short, it is a niche product with limited appeal at a price point which tarnishes the brand.

It's everything Bosch doesn't want to be but apparently based on making products which are profitable, they had to do to make it worth making.

Here is the question we began this post with. Is there any room at all left in the market for a new-entrant in the smart home? Have Ring and Nest sewn it up? We will see how the war for smart speakers shapes up between Apple, Google and Amazon. But for the rest of the market, we wonder, is the BCC100 an outlier or does it show the long term trend of bringing new IoT devices into the world of the smart-home.

Read a solid review on this new Bosch device from Jason D'Aprile.

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When you come to the Enterprise IoT Event, IoT Evolution Jan 22-25, 2018, you'll see IBM, Ingenu, Cradlepoint, TellientARM, McAfee & other major companies. There will be a special focus on Smart Cities, Security, IIoT and case studies.


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