On Christmas morning, millions of consumers awoke to find an Amazon Echo or a Google Home under their trees. They’re now spending time (and maybe even a few gift cards) getting their homes automated with smart home products from Nest, Ring, Sonos, Canary and dozens of other innovative companies that have become name brands for tech-hungry consumers.
Products like Amazon’s Echo and Google Home represent the next step in the smart home evolution. You can now walk out of a store carrying a single box, and within that box is a device that is already capable of working with numerous devices, with little work required, opening an exciting new world to many more consumers.
However, bubbling under the surface of all this smart home excitement are two opposing factors: 1) the opportunity created by smart home market growth, and 2) consumers’ reluctance to replace everything in their homes with smart upgrades. This push/pull has launched a whole new market: devices that connect existing, traditional products to smart home controls.
Zohar Shinar is the founder of Olibra, makers of the Bond, a device that connects remote-controlled devices like ceiling fans to the smart home. With a background in Aerospace RF electrical engineering, he also co-founded Altus PCB, a printed circuit board design and manufacturing company.