Binge-watching Orange Is the New Black, House of Cards, or the latest movie is the default activity for most of us any night of the week. But is kicking back with Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Instant Video really hooking us into the Internet of Things and machine-to-machine communications?
A recent study by the NPD Group shows that half of all US homes have a connected TV device, which the report defines as connected TVs, video game consoles, streaming media players, and Blu-ray Disc players that consumers connected to the Internet allowing them access to apps such as Netflix and Hulu.
Of course, we are online when were watching streaming video, and a smart TV or media player is using machine-to-machine communications when it remotely taps in to a server and downloads that new show or classic film. Data about us is being cataloged and stored to provide the if you watched this, you might like that recommendations, and the companies use download data to determine what existing shows to renew and what kind of series to produce.
Its an IoT / M2M microcosm that we dont really think about. Since a study in 2014 showed that 47% of all US households subscribe to some combination of Netflix, Hulu Plus, or Amazon for streaming video, we seem to have more connected homes than we may have realized.
TV May Be Killer App, Not Nest
Nest, with the promise of home automation, wants to be the killer app for our connected homes. Since Google bought the Wi-Fi thermostat and amped it up with network technology and a suit of works with Nest applications, Nest has become the big-name player. The latest addition is Nest Cam, a security camera option.
But the single Nest thermostat device costs as much or more than a TV, and you cant stream any Oscar-winners through it. Fact is, people can tend to appreciate immediate entertainment over the nebulous benefits of energy savings and long-term money savings on energy bills.
So if IoT developers want to make inroads into the home, perhaps they might want to piggyback on the devices that people are already glued to. Like the TV. Maybe someone should hook up an IoT thermostat to Netflix so we can seamlessly save energy while streaming Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.