The expanding marketplace is known as the “Internet of Things” is giving older established companies’ new opportunities to grow products in the market of smart devices. The proliferation of smart phones allows individuals to control devices at home, at work and while traveling. Within the home, the natural place to start is the home heating and air conditioning system, which gives established thermostat companies a new avenue for partnerships and product development. Once these new markets are recognized and products are developed, there are openings to create new products to take advantage of the technology and the entry into the home marketplace.
A thermostat used to be a very simple thing, a set and forget dial mounted on the wall that was easy to read and adjust. As interest in energy conservation grew in homeowners, programmable thermostats became popular to install. But programmable thermostats have a problem, you had to remember to program them. Remember to change the programming if you traveled, as the seasons changed, and as the schedules of the family changed. For most homes, they were not very useful at all. Many programmable thermostats were simply used just like the older manual ones were.
Then the internet grew and every home had a wireless network set up, and suddenly the idea grew that devices could be remotely read and adjusted and that these devices in the home could be connected to each other. The same idea, a programmable thermostat, was developed to become the internet access, networked thermostat that you could adjust remotely. To turn the air conditioning lower an hour before you came home, no matter if you are an hour early or an hour late. It could be used to adjust the heat at that cabin you only use on the weekends to make it comfortable for your arrival.
As those same established thermostat companies developed these new products, they understood the value of developing partnerships with the others device developers, creating operating and communication standards that would allow universal access to the devices. Easy access would lead to greater adoption which would increase the potential market and drive sales. In other words, the more people that got into using these and comparable devices, the more devices that would be sold as the market grew. The development of intelligent assistants increases the ease at using the smart thermostats as part of a networked home that can adjust a number of devices in concert for comfort, convenience, and energy efficiency.