Global strategies for smart homes

Global strategies for smart homes
Homebuilders in the U.S. and Asia are approaching the installation of smart home systems with slightly different strategies.
 
In the U.S., popular smart home brands have partnered directly with homebuilders, with homebuilders often leveraging the reputation of system manufacturers to push sales.

"For the U.S. market, smart home technology is becoming more of a focus in terms of buying and selling homes. Real estate agents in the U.S. are also becoming more educated in consumer electronics in order to officially list homes as smart home certified,” said Blake Kozak, Principal Analyst at IHS Markit.
 
Lennar, a Miami-based construction and real estate company, makes smart home technology standard in its new homes. This includes an Amazon Echo Show, an Echo Dot, a Ring video doorbell, a Honeywell Wi-Fi thermostat, smart door locks from Kwikset and Baldwin, lights from Lutron, speakers from Sonos and a Samsung SmartThings hub for the Alexa-enabled smart home system.
 
TRI Pointe Group, a California-based homebuilding company, announced a partnership with Amazon to preinstall the latter’s HomeSmart suite of smart home devices in new homes.
 
Amazon has even invested in homebuilding startup Plant Prefab through its Alexa Fund. The new investment marks Amazon’s entry into the home-building field, with the firm aiming to bring its voice assistant directly to newly built homes.
 
KB Home has partnered with Google to build a Google Assistant-powered smart home system. The system includes a Google Wi-Fi mesh network and Google Home smart speakers.
 
Blake Kozak, Principal Analyst,
IHS Markit

Brookfield Residential offers an Apple HomeKit-powered smart home system. Some devices that come as standard in new homes include: Lutron Control Lighting, Honeywell Lyric T6 Smart Wi-Fi Thermostat, Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt and Ubiquiti Wireless Access Point. The system is controllable via iPhone, iPad or Apple Watch.
 
Outside of the major players, the ELAN smart home system comes pre-installed in new homes by California homebuilder RC Homes. Another firm, Control4, is working with the Houston-based McGuyer Homebuilders.
 
“As smart and connected appliances gain traction, we can expect that smart home technology will play a larger role in the U.S. market for buying and selling homes in 2019 and 2020,” said IHS’s Kozak.

Another Rising Market: Asia

 According IHS Markit, sales of smart home products in Asia is set to grow to US$26 billion by 2022, representing 43 percent of the global market.
 
“Service providers such as SK Telecom are heavily invested in multifamily dwellings and are working very closely with developers. Consequently, due to the big impact of room air conditioners and other appliances that are generally smaller than in the U.S., certain countries, especially Japan and South Korea are seen as very interesting markets for real estate,” said Kozak.
 
In China, local governments are encouraging homebuilders to include smart home features in new homes. The cost of smart home devices however, remains relatively high for most Chinese consumers.
 
Some rental properties in China use smart locks to allow landlords change access credentials without having to install a new lock.
 
Singapore is also embracing smart home technology as part of the government’s “Smart Nation Singapore” initiative. The initiative promotes the use of technologies to improve mobility, health, living and service standards.
 
The city state’s Qingjian Realty included several smart home devices as standard in some of its new developments, including facial recognition access devices, a pan-tilt-zoom IP camera with audio and video function, smart locks and smart smoke detectors.
 
Kozak believes Asia has much to offer for developers of smart home systems. “Overall, due to the close ties of service providers and other key stakeholders in the real estate development community across Asia, this region is likely ahead of the U.S. in interest from builders and developers,” said Kozak.
 


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