Your car, house, cell, sneaker and if there is a dog, too: Movistar, Personal and Claro will connect everything you have
"Open, Sésamo" is the legendary phrase with which Ali Babá magically removed the rock that sealed the treasure cave.
Nowadays it could be understood as an oral password so that many things in a connected home start to work. Unlocking locks, turning off the lights, adjusting the ambient temperature, turning on the car and other daily tasks are now possible only by asking a device what we want.
During 2019, the digital life will reinforce its presence in the homes of many Argentines. Of course, Movistar and Personal will accentuate their competence to connect household objects and thus turn homes into more and more intelligent. In other words, the Internet of Things (IoT) will gain a presence in everyday life.
Without going into technical definitions, IoT can be understood as a set of objects with sensors that connect to the Internet and communicate with each other with minimal or no human intervention. That large amount of data (big data) can be transformed into information for people (analytical) or directly are actions that run the devices themselves.
The variety of objects to connect is immense. From running shoes that transmit information of the route and exercise performed to tractors, including vehicles, appliances and industrial machinery.
Smartphones and smart speakers
Check social networks, participate in chat groups, surf the Internet, watch videos and, perhaps ultimately, talk are everyday activities that most people do with their smartphone.
The smartphone has become the door to access the digitization of daily tasks. And it still has a lot to offer. It will be one of the main teams for the IoT universe to advance in its gestation.
Another novelty that will drive this trend are the devices that understand and process verbal commands through artificial intelligence. They are known as intelligent personal assistants and the great technological players (Apple, Google, Amazon) already have their proposals. This year the local versions will begin to be seen.
"IoT seeks to simplify life at home," explains Marcelo Guglielmucci, manager of Marketing and Commercial Planning of Claro Empresas. The executive believes that with Internet of Things "something similar will happen to what happened with Spotify and Netflix: there will be a contagious effect as solutions begin to be implemented". It will begin to be perceived in 2019 and 2020 will be the "multiplying year".
Guglielmucci observes a "growth trend in personal assistants to connect objects, with simple voice commands".
In this sense, in Claro analyze a home platform that combines different types of wireless connectivity, by which from a device you can add different services that the company distributes. "It will be available this year," the executive advances.
Movistar, meanwhile, works in a modem self-management to automate devices in the home. A similar service is provided in Spain under the name of Movistar Home.
"Sooner or later it will arrive in the country," says Alejandro Salevsky, manager of Big Data Analytics at Telefónica Movistar.
Personal's commitment to the segment is included under the Bipy brand, a set of devices and solutions "that seek to enhance the connectivity experience of all members of the family, putting it at the service of their contact needs during daily activities", explain from the company to iProUP.
The automotive industry does not escape the trends of connectivity and digitalization. Talking on a cell phone connected to Bluetooth was just the beginning. Like the home, the car will also become a personalized entertainment center for each of the occupants of the vehicle.
Guglielmucci, Claro, anticipates that "this year there will be news with connected cars, we are in talks with first class brands that will have solutions for all ranges, including the low".
He adds: "It will be included from WiFi connectivity to mechanical assistance alerts, currently the service is under rigorous testing by the automakers, it is a regional solution for América Móvil, Argentina and Brazil will be the pioneer markets."
Claro sealed an alliance with LoJack to launch the IoT Strix platform, which allows to know the exact location of the vehicle and where it circulates.
"It also notifies the user if the car moves from the place where it was parked and when it is time to perform a technical service," says Guglielmucci.
Strix can also be used for other personal goods, since "you can place the portable device in a huge variety of objects, from the dog collar to a bicycle or a backpack, and thus know in real time its exact location".
For home use, the platform allows you to program alarms and receive notifications, in addition to viewing the video surveillance cameras from an application on the smartphone.
Health and personal care
Health is part of human priorities. And the vast majority of doctors recommend exercising their patients. Internet of Things and wearable technology (wearables) appeared to provide answers to personal care needs with detailed information.
Watches and smart wristbands pricked pointed to monitor physical activity or even control the quality of rest. In turn, they allow access to the control of various functions of the smartphone.
Salevsky, from Movistar, explains that although "it is not a mass market like that of smartphones, there is a big opportunity for growth".
"In our stores we try to have a greater variety of wearables, in Germany, the United Kingdom and Spain we have testing devices, people dedicated to explaining products, this would reach Argentina," says Salevsky.
The executive affirms that "the public that accesses these devices already understands their use, for example, in smart watches there were no communications of any kind from Movistar, but the market exists, and people know how it is used."
However, these possibilities for the massification of wearables must overcome the challenge of the local economic scenario. The Movistar executive acknowledges that "there are large differences in costs with the exterior".
This is perceived in retail, where the sale of these gadgets is not so much promoted, partly because of the import prices and also because they compete with the individual micro-borders outside.
A growing market
According to GSMA figures, an entity that groups together telecommunications firms, the number of IoT connections in Latin America and the Caribbean will grow three times by 2020 and reach 1,300 million connected objects.
In the region, IoT revenues will increase at an annual rate of 21% to reach US $ 47,000 million, almost four times its current value.
Many of the connected products that will arrive in Latin American homes in 2019 have been presented at the CES, the largest technology fair in the world that takes place in the city of Las Vegas.
The smart home stopped being a utopian concept to be part of the daily life of millions of people. Companies see this and have advanced in solutions for all types of users.
The examples are many. Google, one of the main references when it comes to connectivity at home, announced on the show tools to have a house "more connected and entertaining".
In that sense, Google Assistant Connect is a platform that allows product developers to configure the virtual assistant in a simpler way, using Google Home to expand to new types of devices and simplifying installation.
In addition, they showed a new smart watch that will help users to organize their daily routines (with alarm hints, adjustable animated alarm clocks) and a Whirlpool KitchenAid Intelligent Display whose function is to guide the user step by step through the Wizard at the moment of Cook.
In addition, the Wizard is now available in premium speakers, allowing you to control music, change radio stations or listen to podcasts without using the phone.
As if that were not enough, it was announced the inclusion of Android TV with Google Assistant devices of various brands in the market. Thus, using the voice, you can turn on the TV, change the channel or increase or decrease the volume.
This is the Oral-B Genius X, a device that has a format similar to the classic electric brushes. However, it has motion and pressure sensors that make it "smart".
LG, for its part, made its contribution to the IoT boom with HomeBrew, a gagdet that allows automating the production of beer in the home.
The device, similar to the Nespresso proposal, is designed to produce more than one gallon of beer by using capsules, which contain malt, yeast, hop oil and flavoring. Of course, the whole process can be managed from the cell phone.
In security, the ADT Command Panel and Control Platform (or ADT Command) was shown, a 7-inch wireless touch screen with capabilities for the smart home.
With this gadget, users can monitor and automate their smart home products through the app, compatible with more than 250 devices from dozens of brands.
The use of IoT can even reach unsuspected limits. The Milliboo couch was designated as the first smart sofa in the world, as it has speakers compatible with Google Home and Amazon's Amazon strategically placed to provide 4D immersion in the living room.
Finally, health at home is emerging as one of the stars of this year: according to The Wall Street Journal, 511 companies at the fair were registered as exhibitors in the digital health category, compared to 472 last year.
The permanent connectivity and the use of sensors in cell phones and smart watches have allowed the explosion of this increasingly lucrative branch of the Internet of Things.
With this panorama in sight, the market looks tempting, because before each need of "the house the future", a digital response seems to emerge.
It's time to embark on a reality that, just a few years ago, seemed limited to a chapter of "The Supersonic." The connected home is now and is within reach.