What is SHaaS? And why should you care?

Comcast survey shows that homeowners want a smart home.
They want services, not a collection of connected devices.

By Cees Links, GM of Qorvo Low Power Wireless
Formerly CEO and Founder of GreenPeak Technologies

In April 2016, Comcast released a report, compiled from almost 1,300 U.S. consumers, providing valuable insight into why customers are interested in smart home services, what features they really want and how they plan to use smart home technologies. The findings are detailed in The Safe & Smart Home: Security in the Smart Home Era. The big take-away from this report is that what consumers really want in the smart home is services – smart home as a service (SHaaS) – not a bunch of connected devices that remotely control various widgets and devices in the home. So What is SHaaS and How Does it Work? First off, there is a big difference between a connected device and a smart device. Devices for the so-called automated home have been around for decades. For many years, solutions have existed that allowed a hobbyist or homeowner to remotely control the home’s doors, windows, environment, entertainment, etc. You (or your parents or grandparents) may remember the X10 communications protocol technology, which was able to wirelessly control a wide range of in-home devices.

Many of today’s so-called smart home devices are only slightly more sophisticated than X10 systems. Instead of, or in addition to, a local remote control, these devices can now be controlled over the Internet by a smart phone. In some ways these new devices may be even a bit less sophisticated than X10 because a single X10 controller could manage a variety of devices, whereas many of today’s smart devices each require their own app running on the smart phone. This means one app to control the home’s security, another for air conditioning and heating, and yet another for controlling the lighting. You get the picture; it’s not ideal.

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