“It is an exciting time for voice enabled technologies.” Ben Wood, Chief of Research, CCSInsight

Smart Summit London is returning on the 19th and 20th of September at the Business Design Centre, and this year a number of excellent speakers have already signed up to discuss IoT and connected living.
One of this year’s visionary speakers, Ben Wood, is the Chief of Research at CCS Insight. Ben has 20 years' experience in the mobile sector, including research vice president for mobile devices at Gartner, where he led a global team of analysts.
Ben, who will be moderating the ‘Can Smart Home Products Really Save Consumers Money?’ panel, also took some time to answer our speaker Q&A:
Which do you consider to be the most popular Smart Home services/solutions currently?
At present the most popular solutions are typically easy to install after market products such as remote cameras, doorbells, power sockets and of course, smart speakers from the likes of Amazon and Google. These are straightforward solutions that allow consumers to dip their toe into the smart home world. Another area that has proved attractive to consumers is heating and hot water control via solutions such as Nest and Hive.
What could be done to increase mass market take-up of Smart Home solutions?
We believe efforts by big eco-system players such as Amazon, Apple, Google and Samsung will help encourage the take up of smart home solutions. Consumers are currently faced with a bewildering array of complexity when it comes to smart home solutions which we believe is delaying their decision to embrace smart home technology. Furthermore, a lot of technology offers early stage which have the inherent risk of looking obsolescence.
How can smart home services save consumers money?
The business case for smart home solutions remains questionable in many quarters, but here are clear benefits from heating / lighting control which give consumers a much easier interface to manage their energy usage. Furthermore, some of the smarter systems can also help educate consumers to optimise their consumption.
How is voice evolving the smart home experience?
It is an exciting time for voice enabled technologies. Companies such as Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft and Samsung are making huge investments in their voice assistant technology. Their efforts are helping to raise awareness of interactive voice solutions particularly as the technology has reached a level that it usually works consistently and reliably. Our perspective is that voice interfaces have the potential to become the knobs and buttons for a whole new generation of users. It is also encouraging that we are seeing a growing correlation between adoption of smart speakers and smart home technologies and appliances.
Does the smart home industry need universal open standards?
Absolutely – but with several large competing ecosystems it is definitely too early to see clear winners emerging. The next few years will be critical to how open standards evolve.
Which do you consider to be the best routes to market for Smart Home products?
Smart home solutions typically require a consultative sell and therefore there is still a role for major high street retailers to developer as key channels. We also expect other channels such as utilities providers or insurance companies to emerge as important routes to market given their existing relationship with consumers and their ability to support solutions from installation, ongoing maintenance and also the ability to offer creative financing solutions – particularly with smart home “as a service” packages.
What impact are security concerns having on the growth of smart home sales and how can security be enhanced?
Smart home products have become a lightning conductor for security concerns and we fear that this situation could get worse. Major players in the market need to focus significant resources on providing secure solutions in order to avoid major issues which could be highly detrimental to the growth of the sector.
How are insurance companies increasing the value of smart home products?
There are obviously reasons why insurance companies can see significant advantages from smart home products – particularly if they help secure and safeguard people’s home which in turn can help reduce claims. We expect to see insurance companies continue to increase their activity in this area.
What lies ahead for the Smart Home industry?
We are in a period of great innovation and complexity. Our expectation is that big eco-system players will be critical to unlocking the potential of the smart home opportunity.

To register your place and hear from our 180 leading speakers click here. Additionally, for further information on speaking opportunities, sponsorship and exhibition options at the UK’s leading Smart Summit, please visit www.iotsmartsummitlondon.com or contact the Smart Summit London Team on +44 (0) 330 335 3900 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

About Smart Summit London

Smart Summit is a 2 day conference and exhibition covering the Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem and its impact on the digital society.

Now in its 3rd year, the event features Europe's leading Smart Home Summit and a further 5 tracks all designed to compliment each other.

With over 180 visionary speakers, gain a unique insight from industry heavyweights and hear case study examples from major contributors.

Make sure you are present in London on the 19th and 20th September for THE Smart IoT event of 2017.