As we move towards digital integration in every area of our lives, the notion of having a home that directly interacts with its occupants doesn’t seem as far-fetched as it did a decade ago. Within the past 10-15 years, numerous products and services like digital thermostats, Ring and Alexa have quietly been added to our household. It seems as though the personal technology that we embraced like mobile computing, smartphones and anything Internet have been added to our home environment. And while the home automation market has grown rapidly, it will be getting even larger over the next ten years.
According to the report published by Allied Market Research, the global home automation market was estimated at $46.60 billion in 2020 and is expected to hit $239.89 billion by 2030, registering a CAGR of 17.6% from 2021 to 2030. So, what is driving this tremendous growth?
Increasing demand for smart sensors, switches, relays, among other smart devices, is leading to a rise in the adoption rate of advanced technologies such as AI (artificial intelligence) and NFC (near field computing). Emerging smart building and smart city initiatives around the globe are also fostering developments in the home automation industry. So, what do people want?
Customers continue to look for smart home devices and systems that prioritize reliability and usability. Some of the areas of home automation include: lighting control, gardening, safety and security, air quality, water-quality monitoring, voice assistants, switches, locks, energy and water meters. Single applications and platforms are now being developed in a way that give consumers the ability to greatly enhance control and convenience. And yet, with all these competing products and services, we still don’t have a common platform that ties everything together, say, like an operating system for our phones or computers. Will Apple’s IOS or Android fight it out for the home or will another open source solution unify our households? What trends are emerging that might give startup entrepreneurs an insight into designing the next generation home automation ‘operating system?’
The latest smart home trends show that consumers are ready for the technology, but this readiness comes with caveats for companies providing solutions in the smart home industry. And it’s a long list. Security, functionality, ease-of-use, connectivity, data privacy and longevity are must-haves for the modern consumer. Most users want the same things – smart home technology that improves daily living with simple functionality. But perhaps the biggest challenge of all? Figuring out how to seamlessly incorporate all the various pieces together, while making it cost-effective and worthwhile for the user. Some of the most significant trends emerging in the home automation sector are as follows:
IoT enabled systems at home. When the Internet was just a few years old, futurists talked about how IoT (internet of things) would really move us forward into the connected world of the future with ‘smart devices.’ Well, we are now here but someone needs to actually connect all the separate devices we connected to our home.
Independent platform control. Some people love their Apple smartphone. Other people will swear by their Samsung phone. Regardless of what devices people choose to add to their home automation platform, we need choice and independent platform control.
Smart sensors and self-diagnosing devices. Will we ever get to a truly smart home that ‘heals’ itself before something breaks or goes wrong? As more smart sensors and devices come into the house, we need some sort of AI based system that monitors and alerts us when a device in our home needs attention before it fails.
Safety and security. Ring was just trying to let us know who was at the doorbell. Little did the company know that while some people thought that was cool, many more people would use the device to actually enhance their security and safety in the house, especially single women and young families. What we really need, though, is integrated security.
As entrepreneurs look to develop solutions for this marketplace, there are some key areas to keep in mind that will be requirements for potential solutions:
– Device interoperability and open platforms. Regardless of the products or solutions being developed, we need a unifying solution that connects all these disparate solutions into a simple platform we can actually use.
– Voice controlled home automation systems. Voice is leaking its way into everything we use from car navigation, to smartphone requests, to Alexa commands for takeout. The home automation solution will ultimately be tough and voice enabled.
– Usability that marries hardware and software. Remember the first ‘smart tv’s’ that came out and all the difficulty we had in setting them up? Well now, you can almost take a smart tv out of the box and set it up in 15 minutes. That is the kind of home automation solution we need today, no matter the devices.