Tag Archives: Qualcomm

Intel makes landgrab for wearables and gaming but cedes space to Qualcomm in the smart home

Intel has the power to make us dream – there were truly gasps in the packed audience when Brian Krzanich CEO of Intel presented their new offerings based round gaming, health & wellness and creativity. We saw the Yuneec Typhoon H drone dodge cactuses and bushes in the Mexican desert, we jived inside to the sounds of Ar Rahman playing virtual instruments and updating his hit song Jai Ho (from Slumdog Millionaire) with the latest Intel technology, we watched 3 times IronMan champion Craig Alexander use his interactive sports and performance tracking device – he spoke to it and it responded intelligently – as an aside, why oh why can’t they sort out the voice interaction in Cortana? At the end we literally soared with a maestro performance of Beethoven’s 5th symphony lit up by a mass of drones flying in formation, breaking the Guinness book of records for the most drones controlled by one person. Watch out for it when it comes out on You Tube.

And then there is smart home which was not mentioned at all in the keynote. That was left to Qualcomm who announced at their media only press conference (yes I am griping however nicely they pushed back the industry analysts) the introduction of a Smart Home Reference Platform. It is according to their press release, “based upon the versatile Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 212 processor, that is designed to provide computing, voice recognition, audio, display, camera, connectivity, and control capabilities for home control hubs and smart speakers, extending to home appliances and multimedia devices as use cases evolve.”

The choice being made by Intel appears to be driven by the value that they can get from their silicon in devices which will be expensive and highly valued by end users – drones, advanced health devices, sporting equipment, segways, robots. There is not the same intrinsic value in the more modest household sensors which form the backbone of the smart home. Smart home only ticks two of the three big trends in computing cited by Brian Krzanich:

  • Everything is becoming smart and connected – yes
  • Sensification of computing – bringing depth and new perspective to the computing experience – no this is not a key priority for smart home
  • Computing as the “extension of you”. A big yes.

What was missing was Intel dreaming about how to make the house an extension of you. The top use case which has come out from both Smart Home surveys conducted by CONTEXT in August 2015 and December 2015 is that when I arrive home, the house is ready for me. The second is advanced security in the home and the third is a coordinated going to bed function. Imagine an Intel keynote where Mr Krzanich had showed technology where I walk into the home and talk to it, and it responds. That is the future and I suspect that others such as Qualcomm are developing the technology which will underpin that.

The results of CONTEXT’s 2nd Smart Home Survey will be previewed at the Retail CEO Breakfast at CES on 7th January. 2,500 consumers have been surveyed in France, Germany, UK and for the first time, Spain and Italy. The CONTEXT forecast for 3D printer activity in 2016 will also be presented.

CONTEXT is delighted to welcome Hans Carpels, President of Euronics, the 3rd largest ICT Retailer in the world, and Stéphane Bohbot, CEO of the innovative Lick stores based in Paris, as keynote speakers talking at the breakfast on new frontiers for ICT Retail in 2016.

by AS

Leave a comment

Filed under Connectivity, Home automation, Smart Technology, Wearables

IoT and Retail: Is 2015 the breakaway year? CEO Breakfast CES

CONTEXT CEO Retail Breakfast, CES 2015.

CONTEXT CEO Retail Breakfast, CES 2015.

In January, we were in Las Vegas at CES hosting our first Retail CEO breakfast with Régis Schultz, CEO of Darty and Hans Carpels the President of EURONICS International. They were joined by senior members of the Darty and EURONICS teams as well as other European retailers and senior representatives from the industry.

We asked our two Retail CEO’s to talk about the new products and formats they are deploying in 2015. They both confirmed that wearables and smart home products are a big focus for retail in 2015 – this could be the breakaway year.

For Hans Carpels IoT is one of the main topics for 2015, but the landscape is complex and fragmented, and it is not easy to serve as a retailer. Interoperability of devices is a major concern of consumers, and a as a way of recognising this, EURONICS announced at CES and that they have joined the AllSeen Alliance, led by Qualcomm, and are thereby targeting a leading position in smart home solutions. The EURONICS offer will depend on the size of their stores with 800 square metres being multi-specialists and the smaller formats being hyper-specialists. Carpels did not exclude the possibility that there may be some hyper-specialist stores entirely dedicated to the sale of connected products and wearables, the same as the Lick and Fnac formats in France, and which we have not yet seen in other European countries.

When Régis Schultz addressed us he lamented the fact that for a company that aspires to sell technology their own salesmen and stores are not adequately equipped. He has set it as a strategic priority to change that with the Digitalisation of Darty, one of the planks of his 4D strategy.  For Régis who started his career in an FMCG company where they always spoke about consumers, the whole raison d’être of retail is to transform the ‘consumer’ into a ‘customer’- that’s where the real value lies and where the profit comes. So it is impressive to note that the attach rate of installation to the sale of Nest products is 75% and that their service department is also installing Nests for customers who have bought their thermostat from sources other than Darty.

Regis spoke of the creation of the Darty button. The customer presses it – it’s like a technology panic button and you are called back by the Darty service centre who are on call 24/7. 1,000’s of people have subscribed to this service and it demonstrates Darty making a reality of profitable service revenues linked to the IoT – and other retailers have shown that they are keen to follow Darty’s lead.

We ended the breakfast taking the temperature of confidence about 2015. “From a product and solution side, we’re really upbeat. There are many new products and areas where we can add value.” said Carpels. “But we have to be realistic,” he continued. “There is a lot of education of the consumer to do. Only 5% of consumers know where to buy IoT solutions”, he quoted from a survey. I asked them if they thought that a product such as Nest smart thermostat could take off this year – with its £180 retail price tag there was a lot of doubt from our two CEO’s that consumers at a time of falling energy prices would see the value compared to a normal thermostat. But the jury is still out which makes 2015 an exciting year. He also spoke of France and Italy as stressed economies with real issues in Russia, Kazahkstan and Ukraine, in all of which countries EURONICS has operations.

Leave a comment

Filed under Smart Technology