Smart Home Trending: Moving from the future to the present
Popular Smart Home Links Shared (Week of 16-22 October)
We had over 5.7K shares last week of the Smart Home genre and our theme is bringing the Smart Home into the present tense. Despite the fact that all four of the most highly shared conversations from last week were positive, only two were written from the perspective of a Smart Home world that has arrived. The other two talked about a “future” Smart Home world. For any technological advancement to reach mainstream, it must be part of the current conversation vs. promising a bright future. Read on to see what I mean…
I’ve got to hand it to Ecobee. They did an impressive job garnering the top shared news item (478 across multiple posts) with a whole series of product launch activities for their Ecobee3 Lite Thermostat. First, there is the product posted on their own web page. Second is a short (but positive) review in Tech Crunch and third is a much longer review in Engadget. To be honest, the best summary is Sean Cooper’s title from the Engadget article, stating that “the Ecobee3 Lite is a decent smart thermostat that costs less than most.” A phrase like that firmly positions the Ecobee3 Lite as a product that is ready for today’s market… not the future.
With 217 shares, Clare Trapasso’s Realtor.com article was next from last week. In it, she posts a link to a 36 page report from Houzz and offers commentary. The full report from Houzz is worth reading on two conditions. First, because it is quite “dense” with facts and figures, you have to be really engrossed in this market to get an ROI from reading it. Second, it is important to understand the inherent natural bias associated with survey-based studies commissioned by agencies that have a commercial interest in the outcome of the findings. To be clear, I’m not knocking CEDIA at all. They are a great organization who logically have their members’ best interests in mind. However, understanding the inevitable biases better enables the reader to process the report.
I will say that Ms. Trapasso does a great job summarizing the report in her Reator.com article. For most of us, her article has plenty of depth and covers the major points.The fact that Smart Home technology is part of the narrative in mainstream publications like Realtor.com and Houzz is significant. When connected thermostats and doorbells are mentioned along with bathroom remodeling and searching for a mortgage lender that signals a technology that has arrived.
The final two articles that saw significant traction last week were both product discussions. On the left is pictured the Amazon Echo, which was reviewed and then shared 176 times in a Telecoms.com article entitled “Beam me up Alexa” by Dr. Dean Anthony Gratton. The second is another review in Techcrunch. This time, it was for the Wink 2 hub, shared 173 times and called “A Smart Home Hub built for the future.”
I find it interesting that the tone of Ecobee’s launch and the Realtor.com article were both “current tense” whereas the two articles in technology magazines were selling us on the “future tense.” Perhaps that subtle difference in marketing positioning contributed to the strength of the first two articles and the subsequent greater reach in the marketplace. Given a choice of selling the future or the now… I would choose “the now.”
Head of Marketing & Ops