Smart Home is gradually becoming a reality but faces challenges. An example of a smart home application is using IoT to control key lock access. Just recently, Amazon unveiled Amazon Key—a “smart lock” designed to allow their delivery people drop off packages inside of homes in an effort to lower package theft.
Amazon’s Secure Package Delivery with IoT
Amazon’s In-Home Kit features the Amazon Cloud Cam (Key Edition) indoor security camera and an Amazon Key-compatible smart lock.
The Cloud Cam is an internet-connected security camera that is activated automatically when the smart lock is used. This way, when packages are about to arrive, users can watch the delivery live via their phone.
Amazon believes that Amazon Key will help people stop making spare keys. With Amazon Key they will be able to give family and friends temporary, recurring, or permanent access or provide one-time access for electricians or dog walkers. Amazon customers using Amazon Key will be able to fully control access by scheduling the date and time window of provided access.
This capability will be enabled in the coming months, as Amazon Key will provide customers with a convenient way to provide unattended access to professional service providers. This includes services from home cleaning experts Merry Maids and pet sitters and dog walkers from Rover.com, as well as over 1,200 services from Amazon Home Services.
Simplifying the Smart Home
The Smart home use case is very interesting, but the problem is fragmentation.
Currently, a smart home owner needs to use different apps to control various parts of his home—one app for lights, one for temperature, one for alarms, and more. But nobody wants 30 different apps to control his home!
It looks that one solution maybe to allow devices to interconnect and communicate in order to utilize a single gateway and thus provide a unified control center. Unfortunately this is not easy in a highly competitive and new market where vendors are trying to find ways to differentiate from the competition.
In such cases, a better way maybe to force manufacturers to use standard interfaces and protocols. In this way, all devices maybe connected to a single unified application, but also custom applications may be offered to provide a differentiated experience.