Wow, it really it going to see the light of day! Very cool to see something I championed and played a big part of make it out the door finally. Sheesh, did it really take two years to get it out the door? Ouch.
I did a little Googling on LaundryTime tonight, and ran across a number of naysayers. Unfortunately, the public articles somewhat miss the point of the value proposition and the pilot (although goals might have changed since I was there).
LaundryTime is a perfect example of a way to test out new concepts in search of great ideas to bring to market. It began with extensive consumer research - that's when I first became aware of Communispace - that identified a problem (actually the research reinforced a known problem - buzzer solutions for end of cycle are not good solutions). Then, ideate concepts that solve the problem, and find out ways to test those concepts. LaundryTime is one such test. Whether LaundryTime is the right consumer solution is not the point; that it is being tested with real customers in a cost-effective manner is the point.
My favorite part of, and my biggest role in, LaundryTime was getting the right IHA companies together to work on this project. Just like in Mealtime (a test of solutions in the connected kitchen), the final group of companies collaborting was not the same as the initial group conceived. Several iterations occured fleshing out uninterested parties and finding companies whose goals aligned with the project. Finding companies willing to invest sweat equity into a non-revenue project is quite a challenge, and very rewarding when it happens.
As it turns out, that's where I built my skillset to work with external parties (eight years of independent consulting certainly helped). Inside Amazon, I'm often asked in amazement "how did you get them to do THAT?" when I announce a deal with a third party. It's simple! If I can get companies to work with me and invest their effort when no profit is to be had, imagine what they'll do when actual money is involved! :)
Now, if Eaton can ever get HomeHeartbeat to the market, I might actually start BUYING some connected home technology I spent so much time in...