Connectivity is an important facet of creating a smart home. Discussion of connectivity in consumer reviews for Smart Home devices consistently makes up about 30 percent of feedback. WiFi is top of mind for users when it comes to Smart Home device connectivity, with the most mentions of WiFi, followed distantly by talk of Routers, ZWave and Bluetooth.
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Connectivity is quickly becoming a necessity. With the Internet of Things in full swing, stand alone devices are losing their appeal. Why have a lowly toaster when you can have a toaster that communicates with your coffee maker and smartwatch alarm clock to have breakfast ready right when you are? Yes, this example is a bit silly (I still make breakfast the old fashioned way), but it proves the convenience that comes with seamless communication between devices. Applications make this all possible, learning behaviors and allowing users to set schedules.
After purchase and set up of Smart Home and Wearables devices, applications control the bulk of the rest of the user experience. We analyzed the difference in consumer opinion between hardware and software in both the Wearable and Smart Home markets in detail, finding that apps were failing to delight as much as devices in both markets. Smart Home apps, however, are improving at an impressive rate, while Wearable app delight is more static.
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The need to carry cash is fading as mobile applications are enabling peer to peer payments. Gone are the days of asking the waiter to split the check 5 ways, since mobile wallets make it easy for everyone to quickly and conveniently pay their share. While tech giant Google offers a mobile payment solution called Google Wallet, consumers prefer Venmo, a start up that has since been acquired by PayPal.
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The intersection of fashion and wearable technology has been gaining momentum for a while now. While wearables are traditionally useful due to their embedded sensors and corresponding apps, most people will only actually wear them if they like the way they look. A fashionable evolution has been underway since the initial popularity of fitness bands, as Pebble’s watch become round, Fitbit turned sleek with the Alta, and the style of the Apple Watch can be customized with seemingly endless permutations of band and face combinations.
This week, wearable technology made a splash at one of fashion’s biggest events: the Met Gala. This year’s exhibition theme was “Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology,” and the Met Gala was top of mind in the Wearables market, with #metgala snagging the spot of the fourth most popular hashtag used in the days surrounding the event. Some stars flaunted wearable technology strictly in pursuit of fashion. Supermodel Karolina Kurkova shared her #cognitivedress, (made with the help of IBM) on Twitter, and sparked a great amount of interest in the wearables market discussion.