Get Insights from our experts delivered right to your inbox!
Subscribe to the Softtek Blog
The era of Smart Homes will make every room of each house monitorable and customizable according to the needs and demands of the user. The future is the conversion of homes to Smart Homes, or what is the same, smart homes connected to this phenomenon called the Internet of Things, a global market of unstoppable growth.
While nowadays you can buy products online at the touch of a button, control smart lighting over WiFi, turn on the heating without having to be at home or save energy thanks to home automation, in the not-too-distant future smart and connected devices will be greatly multiplied by advances in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.
According to a report by Futuresource Consulting, Smart Home devices are becoming one of the fastest growing consumer electronics categories in 2017. These devices will reach a retail value of $6 billion (5.110 billion euros) worldwide this year, with revenue expected to triple by 2021.
“Smart Home has arrived and its impact is indisputable,” said Filipe Oliveira, market analyst at Futuresource Consulting. “Connected devices help with everyday tasks, improve safety and generate energy bill savings by controlling heating and lighting. With high-profile brands like Samsung, Apple and Philips coming into action, consumers are seeing the benefits and possibilities of these devices and are starting to buy them.”
Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s assistant, integrated into a wide range of devices, are making progress in controlling Smart Homes, with Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana currently lagging behind in the smart home. However, the success of smart speakers and the intuitive nature of voice control is not tearing down smartphones, which remain consumers’ favorite interface for Smart Home device control.
“Consumers take their smartphones wherever they go, even when they move from one room to another around the house,” Oliveira said. “Smartphones currently have the upper hand over smart speakers, as these devices allow the use of: facial recognition, gesture commands, and voice commands. Voice control cannot be used in all smart home situations, when the user is away from a microphone, when there is background noise or when multiple people speak in the same room, for example, you cannot make use of the voice control and you need to use the voice control and you need to another command”
A growing consumer’s appetite for all things smart for the home is leading to a range of other Smart Home products and devices beyond the four main categories (security and monitoring products that dominate the market). This includes an assortment of smart mirror devices and smart fragrance diffusers, as well as Smart Home staples such as connected sockets.
Today, North America accounts for more than 60% global smart home shipments and will continue to be the case in 2021 and beyond. In Europe, the UK is playing a leading role in the Smart Home revolution. With a smaller population than Germany and France, the UK outperforms these countries as the largest market for smart home products in Western Europe.
As for the Asia-Pacific region, South Korea is leading the way and growing rapidly, due to a combination of home EC brands and an early adoption mentality. The Middle East and Africa are well behind, although the region is experiencing pockets of innovation and a number of market opportunities.
In terms of channels, retailers and service providers are the main contributors to the Smart Home device market.
Currently, custom installers account for less than 20% installations, and most of the growth comes from easy-to-install DIY devices.
“In the coming months and years, the winners will be the ones who place the smart home at the heart of their business planning,” Oliveira said. “In addition to providing smart home devices, sellers can benefit from the sale of a wide range of related services and complementary products, as well as the use of the connected home to link their customers.”
Many brands are making progress in the Smart Home market, and Google’s Nest is one of them. Although smart thermostats were Nest’s main product, it already manufactured other household devices such as smoke detectors. And the company has continued to go down this path by presenting its new bets on home security.
Nest Secure is an alarm system designed so that owners can use it easily when entering and leaving the house. “Just as people tend to avoid programmable thermostats because they find them very complex, the home security systems that currently exist also seem to take away more than one’s sleep, either because the hardware takes up a lot of space, because of the false alarms or by noisy and stressful back-to-backs. Our idea was to design a product that is not only effective when a security issue arises, but is also practical and easy to use when people are at home with their family making their lives,” explained Matt Rogers, co-founder and product manager of Nest .
Nest’s security package includes Nest Guard, an all-in-one security system with alarm, keyboard and motion detector; the Nest Detect sensor, which detects as much movement as the opening and closing actions of doors and windows; and Nest Tag, an accessory that can be carried in the keychain and that allows you to activate and deactivate the system with ease, without the need for a password. In addition, it can be managed from its mobile app. And the system can also be combined with Nest Cam cameras.
Added to This is Nest Hello, the firm’s new video intercom, which detects the visitor at the door and sends an alert and an image or video even if the person has not rang the doorbell. The owners of the house, whether in the room they are can have a smooth conversation with the person waiting at the door, even if there is noise in the street. It can also be answered quickly with a list of answers that are pre-recorded. Another new feature of Nest is the outdoor Nest Cam IQ, weather resistant and tamper-proof.
Amazon is also improving its devices, and the latest known improvement is that the company will eventually begin to develop custom voice detection.
This means that users living in homes where there are multiple people will be able to get individualized experiences based on speech recognition. So each user gets their personalized shopping list, music selections and the like.
At launch, the feature supports Flash Briefings, purchases, Amazon Music Family Plan, and Alexa calling, adding the specific user’s name to incoming calls. The company will add more unspecified features in the future. The company also states that “she will be smarter,” and that more people will use it.
It is expected to be online in the coming days. Getting Started is similar to setting up Google Assistant or Siri on a phone. With the mobile app, users select “Your Voice” in the settings and then go through a series of demo commands to familiarize the software with your voice.