Consumers prefer in-person assistance to get smart homes up and running

A survey aiming to understand how consumers would prefer to connect home automation and other smart devices found that they would prefer skilled in-person assistance to online help sources for connecting multiple smart devices in their homes.

For the survey, entitled “The Future of the Digital Experience: Connected Service Edition”, CSG International, through an independent research firm, polled more than 2000 consumers across five nations including the US, Mexico, Brazil, Australia and Malaysia.

The survey results showed that consumers referred to online as well as in-person assistance as resources for installations of smart devices. This is because 67% of respondents are not confident in undertaking complex installations by themselves, while only 44% are somewhat confident to accomplish simple installations on their own. A total of 84% of respondents said that they will require skilled technical resource to connect just two to five devices.

Despite this, it was also found that good app and a good reputation has an important role to play for the connected service provider, because for 58% of respondents the utmost criteria is to find a reputable company to provide technical assistance. They also cited to on-demand access to help and the lowest cost option. Another 74% of respondents prefer the technician to contact them directly through phone or text.

Chad Dunavant, vice president of product management at CSG International, said: “Survey respondents have predicted that professional, technical resources will play a significant role in bridging the gap between consumers and the world of devices around us.”

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Intel acquires driver assistance firm Mobileye for $15 billion

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Chip giant Intel announced on Monday that it has acquired Mobileye for $ 15.3 billion, in an effort to remain a dominant player in the self-driving industry.

Mobileye is one of the largest providers of driver assistance and collision prevention systems. It also started work on a camera, radar, and sensor system for self-driving vehicles, in cooperation with global auto-parts supplier Delphi.

See Also: Ford spends billions to meet ambitious self-driving goal

Intel will move its automotive headquarters to Israel, where Mobileye is based.

“This acquisition is a great step forward for our shareholders, the automotive industry and consumers,” said Brian Krzanich, Intel CEO, in a statement. “Intel provides critical foundational technologies for autonomous driving including plotting the car’s path and making real-time driving decisions. Mobileye brings the industry’s best automotive-grade computer vision and strong momentum with automakers and suppliers. Together, we can accelerate the future of autonomous driving with improved performance in a cloud-to-car solution at a lower cost for automakers.”

The two companies have already partnered with BMW to build the iNext, the automaker’s first self-driving vehicle. It is expected to launch in 2021, Intel will fit the processing power and Mobileye will supply all of the sensors and software.

“We expect the growth towards autonomous driving to be transformative. It will provide consumers with safer, more flexible, and less costly transportation options, and provide incremental business model opportunities for our automaker customers,” Ziv Aviram, Mobileye co-founder, president and CEO, added.

It is the largest Israeli tech acquisition ever, almost fifteen times larger than Google’s acquisition of Waze for $ 1.1 billion. Intel expects a $ 70 billion opportunity in the vehicle systems, data, and services market.

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