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Product developers set trends for the smart home industry
Michelle Chu 2017/3/24

Over the past few years, we have seen a continuing rising investment in home automation and connected home business from professional suppliers worldwide.2017 SMAhome Int’l Expo Features Full-range Turnkey Solutions to Welcome Professionals Worldwide

Over the past few years, we have seen a continuing rising investment in home automation and connected home business from professional suppliers worldwide. This phenomenon is not only driven by the desire to create more market share and revenue but also the enormous business potential hidden in the IoT and smart device market.

It is forecast that the smart home market will be growing from USD 46.97 Billion in 2015 to USD 121.73 Billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 14.07%, according to a recent report released by MarketsandMarkets.

At the early stage of smart home development, product developers play an important role in the business. They are responsible for developing new products and improving the existing ones so that the company can meet end users’ needs more effectively. As the smart home market remains highly fragmented and diversified, developing the sound and effective solutions that cure users’ pain point is a challenge.

Thanks to the nature of IoT and connected devices, product developers may now closely collaborate with other technical and manufacturing specialists from different industries throughout the product development process, building up more integrated solutions promptly.

A product developer, also known as an industrial designer, is capable of combining design, business and engineering know-hows to create products that meet both market and production requirements. So what exactly are the product developers going after in the uprising smart home market?

Turnkeys to go beyond business comfort zone

Traditional manufacturers such as professional security and safety makers are looking for the turnkey technologies and solutions that will help expand their business lines and keep up an increasing revenue while facing the challenges of market convergence. Involving in the IoT related markets such as smart home, smart care is often regarded as the best choice to make.

For product developers, understanding the latest technologies available and finding the turnkey solutions to upgrade product functions and applications is a must — be it embedded chipset, platform systems or any ingenious innovations that will immediately differentiate the whole system or solution from the peer.

Voice control can perhaps be the perfect example here. The command method, typified by Amazon Echo, has swiftly stood out and become a new category for smart home devices since its release in 2016. According to ABI Research, voice control will represent almost 30% of smart home device spending by 2021. In light of the market trends, product developers finds it necessary to integrate and extend voice control throughout the home automation systems.

“Over the next five years, a wide range of home devices and appliance vendors, as well as the installer and managed smart home system providers, will have to address how to partner to integrate with voice control platforms,” commented Jonathan Collins, Research Director at ABI Research.

IHS Markit projects that the penetration smart home systems will reach three percent of global households by 2018 and seven percent by 2025. When 2023 arrives, IHS predicts that professionally monitored smart homes will exceed non-connected, traditionally monitored security systems.

However, for smart home technology to continue on its current growth track, service providers need to adopt flexible billing methods, such as on-demand/no-contract models, according to Blake Kozak, principal analyst for smart home and security technology at IHS Markit. “Staying innovative will be crucial for service providers as the future of the smart home will have less focus on safety and security devices and more attention paid to automation, user experience and ecosystems,” said Kozak.

Therefore, installers and solution designers within the system integration companies have set their eyes on technical expansion and migration. Despite they are all experienced and capable of providing integrated systems and solutions, to emerge from the competitive market, it is inevitable to be able to provide even more advanced services and solutions. Usually, it only takes a set of exceptionally designed platform or product system to bring out unparalleled added values from original solutions and services. Suppliers with unrivaled techniques in systems and platforms design are therefore the ideal business partners that systems integrators and installers are looking for.

In order to stay ahead of the competitive industry and keep up with the ever-changing market trend, professional players often find it vital to go further beyond their business comfort zone. These smart home experts usually crave to explore new business models and opportunities where their systems can be integrated and applied in other vertical markets such as healthcare, retail, just to name a few.

Making the smart sourcing decisions

While user experience plays the key role in expanding the adoption of smart home and IoT technology, business tactics like engaging the end user with problem-solving technology (hook product) at the start, and making it simple to add additional devices (a large ecosystem of potential devices), with no doubts, is the most important for long-term success.

To the service providers, it doesn’t matter that the end-to-end ecosystem is built up in-house or outsourced with reliance on third-party integrations — it practically makes no difference for providing exceptional smart home solutions and services, as long as the devices are thoroughly vetted with the platform.

All in all, be it experienced manufacturers, systems integrators or other professional players, they all share very similar interests and purposes when it comes to sourcing.

Ecosystems might be one of the most hit buzz words in the recent years. Platform with unmatched IoT integration with excellent interoperation between various products is the key to real home automation and smart home, making it the most desired techniques in the industry.

Wireless solutions, credited as the soul of home automation, is the decisive factor that determines whether or not a smart home system is successfully built. Buyers are looking for the wireless solutions that guarantee not only convenience in a connected home, but also a stable and consistent performance. Good news is that there are plenty of choice on the menu provided from Z-Wave, ZigBee, HomeGrid, etc.

Imaging technology, with no doubt, is one of the most crucial technique when it comes to building up a satisfying solutions. To make it perfect, the gimmick is to find the right imaging application software for the hardware.

The largest business platform for smart home players in asia

To answer the demands from the market, SMAhome International Conference and Exhibition, held from 12 to 14 April 2017 in Taipei, Taiwan, organized by Messe Frankfurt New Era Business Media, has gathered more than 400 leading manufacturers in the industry to the fairground welcoming visitors worldwide. In this edition, the organiser is going to feature a series of intriguing fringe programs, including the first Z-Wave Academy in Asia providing professional training for the industry players, the Asia debut of recent-launched ZigBee dotdot, and a comprehensive demonstration of the popular ecosystems such as Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa and Google Home.

The venue features an array of original manufacturers that churn out state-of-the-art devices and high value-added solutions. Previous buyers reflected that is exactly what makes SMAhome Expo outstanding compared to other exhibitions — where there are a mixture of traders and manufacturers. Avi Rosenthal, former VP of Nortek Security & Control Solutions, a first-time visitor, said, “Many good Asian manufacturers gathered here. I think there will be high potential of cooperation in the future!”

“In Hong Kong trade shows, many exhibitors are trading companies, so they also cannot do customization. At the show here, you can meet with original manufacturers directly,” commented Jonathan Okina, CEO of Sentry US at ATS Group.

“We base our buying decisions on technology — some Chinese companies only provide RF433/868 MHz, but it is too low-end for us. We think product quality is good here and our purpose is to buy Z-Wave products from SMAhome Expo and sell in Japan,” said Paul Spee.

SMAhome International Conference, the largest conference for smart home and home automation industry in Asia, will present four leading tracks this year, covering subjects under technology, ecosystem, application and business model. Last but not least, the show organiser will be presenting six SMAhome Awards this year at the show. The awards this year include: Top of Excellence, Top of Innovation, Top of ID Design, Top of Solution, Top of Popularity and Cloud Platform & Software Excellence.

Messe Frankfurt New Era Business Media Ltd. All rights reserved. 2019/9/23 print out