At this week’s Consumer Electronics Show, Plume launched Motion Aware—an exciting new addition to its intelligent services platform for modern smart homes. For the past 24 months, the company has wisely positioned itself as a key enabler of Smart Home 2.0, an industry phrase that describes a new wireless era characterized by cloud-based, data-driven services and application services, multi-network harmonization and ubiquitous connected devices. Motion Aware utilizes patented WiFi Motion technology from Plume’s technology partner, Cognitive System, to enhance Plume’s cloud-based WiFi technology without requiring new hardware.
Since the company originally entered the WiFi space in 2014, Plume has always taken pains to avoid the label of just another mesh networking business. Instead, Plume sees itself as a services platform company. Motion Aware, which uses WiFi radio waves to detect motion in areas of the home, joins the list of established services that the company currently offers, Adaptive WiFi, HomePass, OpenSync and AI Security represent the core of Plume’s next-generation capabilities. By working seamlessly with Plume’s Cloud functionality and Plume’s easy-to-use app, Motion Aware adds a completely new layer of whole-home awareness to the Plume platform which mitigates the privacy challenges and concerns that traditional video cameras, for example, present. This last point merits special attention as consumers do not want to trade privacy considerations for new capabilities—even if they make their smart home more productive, secure and efficient.
Motion Aware leverages any compatible OpenSync node or Plume’s SuperPod hardware, as well as existing connected IoT devices throughout the home, to provide new sensing information that can be used for intelligent decisions for home applications—many of which were not possible before without additional discrete devices or sensors. Some of the applications for Motion Aware are easy to conjure up:
- Alerts when people enter a leave a home or room (for example, children coming home from school)
- Surprise alerts for when movement occurs in a home (for example, a burglar breaking in)
- Home monitoring and alerts for lack of movement (this feature alone could be a game-changer for elderly care)
- Smart automation responses that are triggered when the owner returns (for example, turn on the air conditioning, heat, lights and close the garage door when an owner enters home)
- Motion detection in areas where cameras are a major privacy concern (for example, the bedroom or bathroom)
It’s not difficult to see the value and potential this technology presents for driving incremental revenue and subscription services opportunities for ISPs, particularly in home security and home monitoring applications. Plume has already established itself as the de facto all-home intelligent WiFi coverage solutions provider for some of the largest and geographically diverse ISPs across the globe (including Comcast, Bell Canada, Liberty Global, Armstrong, and Vodaphone, among others).
In this hardware-obsessed world, Plume has done a great job of convincing consumers to think about their smart home in a fundamentally different, platform-oriented manner—a thought process that is more long-term, adaptive, cloud-oriented, secure and flexible than a simple router purchase. Motion detection utilizing WiFi radio signals has significant long-term disruptive potential with innovative usage models and privacy benefits that have only begun to be contemplated. Plume’s smart integration of Motion Aware into its existing SuperPods and existing cloud infrastructure demonstrates that the company is not resting on its laurels. Its continued onboarding of new ISP partners underscores that its strategy is working.