iQor announced Thursday the opening of its Smart Home Simulation Room, an advanced Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled laboratory designed to replicate challenges consumers face using a growing number of connected devices that depend on entire ecosystems of technology to operate correctly.
iQor’s Smart Home Simulation Room will investigate the many frustrations and challenges consumers report experiencing with connected devices, such as issues with set-up, Wi-Fi connectivity, interoperability and more.
In a recent demonstration, the lab showed how the physical layout and vertical positioning of Wi-Fi and other IoT components could increase the signal strength to a smart-TV in another room by as much as 30 percent—eliminating poor 4K streaming performance. This use case exemplifies how it can sometimes be the operating environment, rather than the various hardware devices themselves, that are hindering optimal connectivity.
Connected device adoption is still in its infancy, but Gartner reports that IoT-enabled devices will reach 20.4 billion globally by 2020, almost doubling from an estimated 11.1 billion in 2018.
In iQor’s Smart Home Simulation Room, various connected devices including wireless routers, smart speakers, digital assistants, smart lightbulbs, security systems, and more, are tested in an environment which simulates the modern-day consumer home.
The Smart Home Simulation Room tests different smart home scenarios to identify potential issues that could be caused by interoperability or network connectivity. Insights derived from the data is then shared back to iQor’s contact centers to help customer service agents coach consumers through the product resolution journey.
iQor, a managed services provider of customer engagement and technology-enabled BPO solutions has 45,000 employees across 18 countries. It partners with global brands to deliver aftermarket product and customer support solutions that span the consumer value chain, from customer care and receivables management to product diagnostics and repair services. Its technology, logistics, and analytics platforms can measure, monitor, and analyze brand interactions, improve business processes, and find operational efficiencies that lead to superior outcomes for our partners across the customer and product life cycles.
“Interoperability is a huge concern among technology brands, device manufacturers, and a wide range of companies using smart home devices like the Amazon Echo to engage and service customers. This challenge is only going to continue to grow as families start to bring more connected devices into the home,” said David Travis, innovation lab director at iQor. “The goal of our simulated smart home is to identify systemic issues, such as Internet bandwidth, signal strength, and the inability for specific devices to interact. We then look to offset these problems to deliver a higher quality experience for connected device users and eliminate device downtime frustrations associated with consumers troubleshooting issues.”
The Smart Home Simulation Room is a component of iQor’s Innovation efforts and is served by a team consisting of test engineers and quality engineers located in iQor’s Memphis facility, which was recently unveiled as the first U.S. integrated hub for customer and technical support services.
“Our new Smart Home Simulation Room will play a critical role in this process as the IoT ecosystem within the connected home continues to grow,” said Gary Praznik, president and chief executive officer of iQor. “Using data and insights gathered in our Smart Home Simulation Room, we can create better experiences for technology brands and the customers they serve.”
As part of its quest to better understand the customer experience, iQor released findings earlier this year on the Customer and Product Experience 360 (CPX 360) Survey – aimed at better understanding the current state of consumer experience and expectations in the emerging IoT-enabled smart home market.