Each day there seems another device introduced that connects to the Internet–not to mention the equipment you already own like computers, tablets, and TVs. According to statistics from IHS Markit, there’s no sign of the Internet of Things (IoT) slowing down. The number of connected IoT devices worldwide is expected to jump 12 percent on average annually from nearly 27 billion in 2017 to 125 billion in 2030.
Based on these and other figures that indicate a steady growth of IoT in the home, the way by which consumers will interact with their smart home devices will change. They will need to understand how to connect devices and protect them from threats on the Internet. For this reason, Verizon recently launched TechSure, a new personal technology helpdesk. The service provides different levels of tech support to its customers.
“Laptops, tablets, TV, thermostats, security cameras, doorbells, light bulbs – these days, almost everything in the modern home is connected to the Internet,” Verizon notes in a press release.
Verizon offer three different levels of IoT service:
- TechSure ($10/month): 24/7 phone support for all devices connected to a home network. This includes software installation, device setup support, and troubleshooting.
- TechSure Plus ($15/month): Includes the above services plus identity theft protection, virus protection, and parental controls.
- TechSure Premium ($30/month): Includes everything in TechSure Plus, as well as protection for many of the connected devices in a customer’s home. If a TV, tablet, smart thermostat or any other eligible device breaks down, Verizon will repair or replace it. Premium also include LastPass Families, which digitally and safely stores all of a customer’s passwords for any of their online accounts.
Is a Helpdesk Enough?
Many manufacturers promote their IoT products as being simple enough for a DIYer to set up and configure. This may be true in some cases, but the complexity increases as the number of devices on a network grows. Consequently, consumers will need a helping hand at some point, whether it’s with installation, configuration, or maintenance. According to a consumer survey by revenue management and billing company CSG International, connecting devices together “will require human intervention from skilled and reputable resources.”
Where will they look for help? Forty percent of respondents say that will seek online help, even for simple installations, while 89 percent say they will rely on a communications service provider for assistance, if they offer such services.
Respondents also indicated the following:
- 84 percent said skilled help will be needed if two to five devices are being connected.
- 74 percent want a phone call or text from the technician stating that he is on his way.
- 65 percent want a technical resource to help them with installation of multiple devices, with self-guided only help desired by only 29 percent.