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Yonomi’s Kent Dickson | What does COVID-19 Mean for the Smart Home Landscape?

#IoTFounders E059

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In this episode of the IoT for All Podcast, we sat down with Kent Dickson, CEO and Co-Founder of Yonomi to talk about the state of the smart home landscape and how the COVID-19 pandemic could make-or-break progress for companies in the industry.

Kent has spent most of his career in enterprise software and the past ten on the smart home frontier, from his experience building a massive scale Grid Computing-as-a-Service product at GridMachine to developing a Cloud platform for residential energy management.

To start the episode, Kent introduced us to Yonomi’s background and what they do as an integration platform for smart home devices. On the consumer side, Kent talked about how Yonomi creates positive experiences with even simple routines like turning off the robot vacuum when the TV turns on or ensuring that when a homeowner arrives the lights are on and the thermostat is set to the ideal temperature. He also shared how, for developers, Yonomi can reduce development time by providing an API that allows for a high level of interoperability between devices.

Kent spoke to some of the challenges that came with developing Yonomi’s platform, including building on and maintaining the flexibility to connect with products from different countries and learning to work around the development schedules of larger companies as the platform grew. 

Turning the conversation to current events, Kent spoke to how the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many to spend more time at home, giving many a greater appreciation for the services their smart home devices perform. Kent said, “our customers seem to be more excited about what we’re doing than they’ve ever been.”

Kent shared how he believed MSOs and telecom companies could step up to help ease consumer discomfort while self-quarantined and spoke to the role of companies across industries, including insurance, in helping consumers save on costs and maintain a high level of comfort.

To close out the episode, Kent gave his predictions for the smart home industry post-pandemic. He shared that, in the next two years, the widespread adoption of smart devices would be inevitable – much like how every TV on the market is a smart TV, he said light switches and other household necessities would likely follow suit.

Interested in connecting with Kent? Reach out to him on Linkedin!

About Yonomi: The Yonomi Platform simplifies interoperability throughout the connected home ecosystem. From cloud enablement for consumer products to powering hundreds of third-party device integrations, Yonomi enables you to engage consumers with unique branded experiences in homes across the globe. Yonomi was founded in 2013 by Kent Dickson, Joss Scholten, and Garett Madole. The company is dual-headquartered in Austin, TX and Boulder, CO.

Key Questions and Topics from this Episode:

(01:53) Introduction to Kent Dickson

(04:04) Introduction to Yonomi

(09:15) How does Yonomi integrate different smart home interfaces?

(13:29) What have been the biggest challenges during the development of the Yonomi platform?

(18:32) How does Yonomi choose its partners?

(21:28) On the consumer side, has the Coronavirus’ affected the smart home industry at all?

(25:01) What are MSOs doing to support consumers during this crisis? What role does Yonomi play in that?

(28:57) How can insurance companies utilize IoT to help homeowners spend less on repairs and upkeep?

(34:54) What are your predictions for the future of smart homes?

(40:01) What announcements can we look forward to from Yonomi?

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