Smart Home Software Services Unlock Meaningful Value

November 13, 2020

Smart Home Software Services Unlock Meaningful Value

By: Jim Carroll and Michael Silva

The absence of high-value software services applications for the smart home is a significant contributor to the lack of meaningful use cases for consumers. In today's smart home, software development is predominantly in three areas: embedded devices, cloud connectivity and databases, and mobile device apps. None of these focus areas will deliver the significant innovation required to drive broad smart home technology adoption.

The idea of high-value software services driving significant value into ecosystems isn't a new concept. The smartphone world is a great example; the highest value a smartphone brings to the consumer is the community of software applications, and it's clear why. Consumers can tailor their phone experience with the exact applications they want. The smartphone ecosystem changed the mobile phone industry; value-added software applications transformed a communications tool into a necessity for every family member. Smartphone software revenues are almost equal to smartphone device sales in 2019; the software service revenue forecast exceeds device revenues by 2023. We believe the same dynamic is occurring in the smart home, where the value of the smart home is driven by a community of application developers creating new and powerful functionality on top of smart home devices

Software Services for the smart home is an extension of the Software as a Service (SaaS) model instead of the pipeline model of software and hardware products with an upfront cost and annual service plans. Software Services are subscription-based, allowing consumers to choose precisely the software services and features they need in their homes without ongoing service and support cost. Sendal enables subscriptions for value-added services, not for core functionality.  Consumers won’t tolerate subscription fees for core functionality after paying a premium for connected devices relative to their non-connected counterparts.

Sendal developed an API specifically for software service development. The API delivers secure, anonymized access to homes based on users subscribing to software services and accepting Sendal's transparent permissions description. Consumers choose what services are active in their home and understand how their information is shared with the service provider. Anonymized access simplifies software service security implementation as software service developers do not need to worry about personally identifiable information.

Sendal's API enables software services to control devices from any manufacturer with a single, abstracted API. Control and real-time status information are available to software services. Imagine developing a software service once to control any thermostat, light switch, or door lock in any Sendal home. Software services receive an indication of home configuration changes and can access Sendal's device machine learning cybermodels for predictive behavior.

At Sendal, we believe our autonomous home platform opens the door for software innovation for the smart home. Like smartphone app stores, we're building a marketplace of advanced software applications for the home. Leveraging our platform's network effects and ecosystem of third-party devices, we enable an outcome-economics model that builds a net positive cash flow for customer lifetime value relationships.

If you're interested in building an entirely new class of smart home applications with our ecosystem, visit our Sendal Developer Portal here for more information about our APIs.