eBay names ‘connected home’ as Tech of the Year

eBay names ‘connected home’ as Tech of the Year
With more than two million smart home products sold on eBay, and shoppers continuing to link their homes to smartphones, ‘Connected Home’ was announced Tech of the Year in eBay’s 2018 Shopping Report.
 
eBay cites industry data saying household penetration of smart home is 32 percent in 2018 and is expected to hit 53 percent by 2022.
 
Updates to smart speakers and new launches like the Apple HomePod drove growth of more than 200 percent, selling more than 230,490 devices this year – that's 32 speakers per hour, eBay says.
 
More companies have invested in smart speaker production. “More than 22 smart speakers have been launched so far in 2018. In total, there are more than 56 companies either already offering a smart speaker, or planning to offer one next year,” says Blake Kozak, IHS Markit’s Smart Home and Security Technology Principal Analyst.
 
Furthermore, smart speakers are now being embraced by some of the top players in the audio industry, such as Bang & Olufsen, Harman, Bose and Sonos, all of which have already launched, or plan to launch, smart speakers by the end of this year.
 
Other tech giants such as Netgear, Deutsche Telekom, Samsung, Facebook, Insignia (Best Buy) and Motorola are also getting involved. The Microsoft Cortana smart speaker, and another new entry from Nokia, are also rumored to be set for release in 2019.
 
Another product category that was gaining traction on eBay is smart thermostat, sales of which jumped 24 percent, with Nest being the strong brand leader, eBay says. In addition, products from Philips Hue smart lighting line drove 4,454 purchases in just the last 90 days.
 
The global installed base for thermostats reached 26 million in 2017, according to IHS. “Thermostats and radiator valves have had a major influence on the smart home market,” IHS’ Kozak says. “Although smart thermostats have a smaller installed base than video cameras, they are likely to be installed in more homes, considering the fact that many homes are likely to require two or more cameras, but are unlikely to need more than one thermostat.”

Service providers’ routers and gateways to be hot

 
IHS predicts that routers and gateways with embedded voice assistants and smart home radio-frequency technology will gain popularity in 2019.
 
Deutsche Telekom made progress this year with its Speedport Smart router, which will soon be on its third generation with smart home features enabled. Comcast also launched its xFi Advanced Gateway, with smart home capabilities for its gigabit broadband subscribers.
 
“Consumers using these service-provider gateways is inevitable, but we continue to see this adoption pushed out, because the time to market can be long and rollouts are often limited at the start.” Kozak said. “As a result, IHS Markit expects that this year and next year there will be a major influx of service providers announcing limited releases of routers with smart home functions.”

Smart home market to reach US$28 Billion this year

 
The global smart home market was worth US$18 billion last year and is forecast to reach US$28 billion in 2018, IHS predicts.
 
Leading the growth in this market are connected appliances, smart speakers and connected lighting. The global installed base of these products reached 361 million devices in 2017, and is expected to expand to 560 million devices by the end of 2018, registering a staggering 55 percent.


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