Over the years, Hollywood has brought us what seems like fantastical, futuristic movies. However, when you look back, many of the things that, once seemed bizarre are now commonplace. For example, in the 1996 movie “The Cable Guy,” Jim Carrey’s character predicted a time when there would be a cable TV, a computer and a phone in one device. The film was truly ahead of its time.
In addition to this movie prediction becoming reality in our mobile devices, many modern homes, would also not function without the internet. Several traditional appliances can now be powered remotely. The Internet of Things (IoT) is at the heart of a wave of home automation that we know as smart homes.
The smart home market is generally segmented based on products, services and deployment technology. Within the product segment, the market can be divided into thermostats, humidifiers, air cleaners, wireless doorbells and cameras, light timers, alarm systems, Yale locks, smoke alarms, pop smart buttons, smart sensors and speakers, robot vacuums, and more. The service segment is further bifurcated into managed and professional services, and the deployment technology segment includes on-premises and cloud sub-categories.
The global smart home market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 16.5% to reach $144 billion between 2019 and 2025. This is largely credited to North America, which holds a regional smart home market share of 25% – 28%. Automation and electronic companies in North America are leaving no stone unturned in bolstering the market growth.
In India, the smart home market started to pick up in 2018 and picked up a sincere pace in 2019. Government programs, like ‘Digital India’ that are promoting high-speed internet connectivity across the country, are welcoming businesses to capitalize on this lucrative opportunity. Although the connected homes market in India is currently in its nascent stage, it is expected to witness sizeable growth shortly. The market is expected to grow at a 9% CAGR from 2017 to 2022, according to a PwC study.
Apart from delivering a higher standard of living, smart homes include a myriad of eco-friendly and advanced security features that are contributing to its growing popularity – especially among residents of metropolitan cities. Moreover, thanks to strong smartphone penetration, the Indian consumer has already begun to embrace other smart, IoT-enabled devices such as smart speakers and lights.
With increasing digitization and rapid adoption of technology smart speakers like Amazon Echo have played a major role in enhancing the consumer experience, building an ecosystem around the VADs. Being a first-mover Amazon Eco products have the advantage of being the leader in the segment and driving the shift in consumer behavior and adoption of voice-assisted products in the Indian market.
If used appropriately, smart homes can be a boon to environmental sustainability. People commonly waste excessive amounts of energy from cooling and heating their homes. Smart devices can optimize internal home temperatures according to the weather, which can contribute to massive savings on the energy bills. Eco-friendly smart homes also reduce an individuals’ carbon footprint by optimizing appliances according to his needs, and whether we are present in the house. We no longer have to worry about leaving an appliance turned on while on vacation because the smart home will take care of itself.
Smart devices and smart homes are also playing a major role in enabling individuals with special needs. According to a World Bank report, around one billion people in the world live with some kind of disability. Accessibility is a frequent issue for disabled people, and they tend to be more susceptible to socioeconomic outcomes. Smart homes and devices are a simple solution to help individuals with special needs and our older populations get around potential mobility issues to lead a more comfortable, independent lifestyle and control their home environment.
Smart devices and technological systems have become the need of the hour, right from on the move to home and car due to its broad societal benefits. Several companies are investing time and resources to build more eco-friendly smart products as new technologies continue to disrupt the market. There are immense possibilities for how smart devices can improve the lives of individuals, society and the environment.
By Kuldeep Malik, Director, Corporate Sales, MediaTek India