How the IoT Will Transform the Home Maintenance and Repair Industry

Companies will harness insights from the data explosion across the connected home to offer a comprehensive home care-as-a-service platform.
By Daniel Shaked
Apr 22, 2018

As the old saying goes, it is the neglect of timely repair that makes rebuilding necessary. That adage still rings true today.

We go to the doctor every year for a physical and twice a year to the dentist. We take our car to the auto mechanic at least once a year for maintenance. Yet the funny thing is, when it involves our homes, the biggest single investment most of us will ever make, we often wait for things to break down before addressing them. When the roof leaks, we call a roofer. When the washing machine stops working, we call the appliance repair person. When the air conditioning doesn't work, we call for HVAC repair.

With the integration of the Internet of Things (IoT) in the home, that world may be changing in the very near future.

As sensor costs come down, our homes are being connected from top to bottom. Smart thermostats are becoming the norm for many, while motion-activated security cameras scan the perimeter and alert us to potential intruders. Digital door locks can be controlled remotely for the trusted visitor, while plumbing leak detectors are starting to gain on the ubiquitous smoke detector.

These days, almost every new appliance coming off the factory line is equipped with sensors and Internet connectivity for access to real-time monitoring via its own app. With all this connectivity, this means data about the home is growing as well. As in the case of personal health-monitoring devices that send real-time information to our doctor, or cars that monitor our driving for insurance rates, data changes the way services are delivered.

So how will home-care services change when the IoT is fully implemented?

The first change will be more timely alerts, like the so-called "idiot light" on a car's dashboard that lets you know of a transmission fluid leak or other failure. So, instead of reacting to a plumbing issue after it has already ruined the flooring, sensors will alert you to the first signs of moisture. Or tiny microphones will alert you to termites chewing your wood floor before you see the sawdust from their work.

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