2017 The Year Of Smart Home Tech
Smart home tech has been a hot topic in tech talk for quite some time now. Yet, we don’t see much application of it in today’s households. You’d think we should for a development that started some time ago. The truth is, the average homeowner does not have smart home technology high on their list of priorities. What is the most common reason for that hesitance towards such an exciting technology? The average person has no idea how these systems can be integrated in the day to day functioning of homes. Despite these factors, many believe that this year, there shall be a considerable increase in the adoption of home automation.
Shedding light on this trend, Blake Kozak, a principal analyst at IHS Markit, has reported
“It’s been a lot of fragmentation in the industry, a lot of confusion among consumers as to which devices are the best to go with. Is there longevity here? If they install a system tomorrow, will it be around in the next year,”
According to statistics, provided by IHS Markit, 80 million devices were delivered worldwide in 2016. This included smart locks, video doorbells, etc. A huge portion of these shipped devices were home assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home. This marked an increase of 64 percent as compared to 2015. Seeing this increase in smart home tech, analysts are predicting that 2017 will be the year of Smart Home tech.
Acceptance and Adoption
What important step will lead to the acceptance and adoption of this technology? It lies mainly in educating the customer about smart home tech. Energy efficiency is often overshadowed by the curb appeal of smart home tech. But it remains a real benefit. Marketing these products on the strengths of their benefits and advantages will provide the incentive to the consumer. Companies need to educate their customers about the value of what they are getting. Smart homes are not about just fun gadgets that can make decisions. They are about saving energy and providing the highest degree of comfort. When consumers see that a connected home will save them money. Save them time. Improve the quality of life. They will be more inclined to adopt the technology.
Statista breaks down smart home tech into the following categories:
- Home Automation
- Home Entertainment
- Ambient Assisted Living
- Energy Management
The following charts from Statista show the projected growth of this sector in the coming years and it is significant.
Consumers are hesitant about the idea of full home automation. The most common misunderstanding is that homeowners expect such devices to be for newly constructed modern homes. Therefore, they are not giving much thought to these systems or see them as a priority. They may lean towards getting their homes a smart doorbell or thermostat. They don’t seem open to the concept of a fully automated smart home yet.
So Many Choices
The number of SmartHome tech products has greatly increased since last year’s CES. Smarthome Tech had a very large footprint at CES 2017. A multitude of developers introduced a vast number of products that integrate into the various SmartHome eco-systems available today. Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Nest to name a few. Everything from smart locks and thermostats, smart lights, dimmers, and switches. Sensors of all kinds, cameras, security systems, garage door controllers. Smart air vents, ceiling fans, smoke and CO detectors. Even major and small appliances have gotten smart. Including, refrigerators, washers, dryers, coffee makers, air quality and purification systems, vacuum cleaning robots, alarm clocks, and more. It is mind boggling just how much of our home can be controlled from anywhere in the world. From an app on your smartphone or with a simple voice command to SIRI or Alexa.
Where to begin?
CNET announced a Smart Home Product Compatibility Matrix (https://www.cnet.com/smart-home/compatibility/) at CES. It is intended to help potential customers get familiar with the various platforms and the devices they support. It will provide information about syncing these devices to work together with others. The most important step in this journey is the first step, which is choosing which platform to go with. This will make choosing the individual products easier and help to ensure compatibility throughout the home.
Many of these products are surprisingly affordable which is key to widespread acceptance and adoption. There are a number of high ticket items out there as well. But anyone can get their feet wet with a smart switch or light. You will become convinced once you see how convenient it is. Setting your thermostat ten minutes before you get home. Or turn lights on before you enter a dark house. Or open the garage door with a simple voice command. Each piece of the smart home puzzle will make it onto many wish lists. Gradually, over time into our homes. Piece-by-piece, our homes will become smarter and we will have greater control over our individual, personalized living environments. The industry is counting on this and frankly, I think it’s a good bet.