Part 3 of 4 of the series 'the Bank of Things'
Perhaps one of the most exciting areas of technology will be the connected home. Unlike connected cities the customer will be in control and be able to introduce smart devices of their choice.
Nearly every room could have a wide array of connected devices. Clearly TV and sound might dominate the front room, but expect home to feature dedicated “vision” rooms where 3D projectors beam images to every wall and floor to fully immerse the viewer or
For the bedroom, you can already buy a mattress that monitors and reports your sleep pattern and able to regulate temperature to optimise your sleep experience. Aside from mood lighting, light bulbs have become “multi-function”
devices by doubling as speakers or WiFi extenders.
In the bathroom expect to catch up on the news and other personal notifications in
the bathroom mirror, whilst your connected toothbrush records your brushing habits and send alerts if it detects possible issues. Even the toilet will analyse content to assess your health.
In the kitchen your fridge will manage your shopping possibly working with your bin so that items from cupboards can also be recorded. Cooking maybe a thing of the past as
robotic arms take over that task unless of course you’d rather just have a
3D printed burger. Already you can buy
kettles that are connected so you can use an app to ensure water is boiled before you get to the kitchen.
Laundry rooms may get smarter with clothes identifying their washing instructions so you never have to choose a setting or risk choosing the wrong setting. It will even tell you if you mixed the wrong items. There are already socks that are connected and
can tell you how often they have been worn and washed, hopefully they are the same number. However will we need to wash clothes? Will we instead simply recycle clothes and have new sets 3D printed? 3D printed clothes can be much smarter with LED lightening
and smart materials that detect heat and adjust ventilation automatically.
Most of the above has been demonstrated already and there is much more to come. But what does this mean from a banking perspective? Just like the Connected Car, the Connected Home too might have it’s own account that allows a detailed spend analysis for
the home. Devices could be connected to the account for shopping or ordering recipes for the robot chef.
Utilities could also be connected for payments but also for budgeting. So possibly a budget could be set for heating and a smart algorithm is used to manage the bills to that budget. The algorithm reduces / increases temperature not only to the weather outside
but also to keep within a budget. In the UK utility companies hold
£1.5bn in excess funds relating to overpaid prepayments, this could be eliminated with smart meters connected to accounts.
Managing the home is a complex task and banks could play a role as an infomediary by managing switching between suppliers to get the best deal and provide a “single statement” for all bills. Whilst personal finance management provides spend analysis information,
banks have the opportunity to provide a role that helps customers manage their expenses better.
ASB in New Zealand is the only bank I’m aware to produce their own IOT device for the home, a smart digital savings box,
Clever Kash. The device has an interactive screen and a companion app. The idea is as the child earns money their parents can flick cons from their phone to the savings box and the child can see the balance being
updated. The bank provides this to help parents teach the child about money and saving. There is huge opportunity in the connected home for banks in the future but for now banks should prototype home banking experiences for this exciting future.