We officially finalized version 1.0 of our How-To's Module today.
I am personally satisfied with the result but we still have to make it mobile/tablet friendly and we will be investing a significant amount of resources to establish a solid foundation (250+ high quality how-to's) other stakeholders will want to contribute to, to eventually evolve SmartHomeDB's How-To's into the leading centralized, standardized and quality controlled smart home how-to's database.
Below you will find our initial 6 live How-To's so you can get a proper feel of our foundational concept:
1. How to Install a Philips Hue A19 Bulb (Color) (via iOS)
2. How to Install a Philips Hue A19 Bulb (Color) (via Android)
3. How to Cloud Connect a Philips Hue A19 Bulb (Color) (via iOS)
4. How to Cloud Connect a Philips Hue A19 Bulb (Color) (via Android)
5. How to Install a LIFX Bulb (Color) (via iOS)
6. How to Install a LIFX Bulb (Color) (via Android)
With regards to which How-To's 'ecosystems' we will initially be focusing our How-To's resources on we have shortlisted 5 'waves' we will be riding:
Our estimate is that already today more than 250,000 Amazon Echo's have been sold and installed in consumer households in the United States and we believe that linking home automation functionalities with an Amazon Echo will be a natural next step for existing Amazon Echo owners.
We believe that given time the Samsung SmartThings Hub is going to be a major success in the mainstream market on a global scale. We have already tested the original SmartThings Hub Version 1 and have had positive experiences with it so far and we are confident SmartThings will be able to keep its current momentum going.
We believe that what Google is strategically doing with its OnHub Router is similar to what Google did with the HTC Dream (also known as the T-Mobile G1 in the US and parts of Europe), basically establishing a new/competing standard for an existing product category. In this case upgrading the established 'Wi-Fi Router' into a Multi-Radio Wireless Router. To quote Google: "It’s built to support a growing number of "smart devices" over time because it includes Bluetooth® Smart Ready, Weave, and Thread."
To read more about my point of view with regards to the future wireless router standard, please read our article on the smart home radio protocols war.
We believe that once Apple HomeKit eventually properly launches it will resonate with a significant number of users globally and that it will without a doubt be a worthwhile user base to dedicate our resources to.
A promising pitch page by Apple related to HomeKit can be found here.
A few million households already have Nest products installed in their homes (mainly in the US and EU) and we believe it will be a natural development to see an interesting percentage of their user base to explore and install complimentary products to their Nest enabled homes.
We will basically initially properly cover the [ Install ], [ Cloud Connect ], [ Pairing ('x' works with 'y') ] and [ Reset ] steps for the above 5 ecosystems across multiple operating systems: Android, iOS and Windows 10 Mobile.
Interface Design Findings
During our How-To's interface design process we came to the following 2 interesting conclusions:
Screenshots in Smartphone Wireframes are more friendly to the eye:
Real-Life Hardware Photos should have a blue background color instead of going for plain white. This way users immediately see the difference between whether an action should be taken with the hardware (photo with blue background means you will have to touch hardware) or whether an action should be taken in the software (photo with white background and phone wireframe means you will have to touch an app on your smartphone):