Due to lacking a “Killer App,” the smart home market is predicted to experience saturation

Due to lacking a “Killer App,” the smart home market is predicted to experience saturation
46 percent of U.S. broadband households own at least one smart home device today and that number will grow to 62 percent by 2025, according to the data presented by Strategy Analytics at the Smart Home Summit. “Clearly, the smart home is a topic that people understand. Ten years ago, that wasn’t the case,” said Bill Ablondi, director, smart home systems at Strategy Analytics, to IoT World Today.
 
The research firm, however, expected the number to stop increasing by 70 percent, meeting the market saturation prediction. However, “if there is that proverbial killer app for smart homes,” the forecast might change and the market might keep growing, suggested Ablondi.
 

Intuitive control method for everyone

 
Two ways of controlling are now dominating the smart home market – a mobile app and virtual assistants with built in smart speakers.
 
Although smart speakers might be one of the only popular consumer technologies after smartphones, the capabilities of voice assistants are still limited. Voice assistants, for sure, keep broadening the tasks they can do for users. But, most users are using them for a limited number of tasks, such as playing music, listening to news briefings, or setting timers or alarms.
 
According to the data from Strategy Analytic, 59 percent of U.S. smart homes had an interactive security system. Furthermore, only one in four U.S. adults own a smart speaker, according to data from the Pew Research Center.
 
Although smart speakers have increased the awareness of smart homes and attained the market’s attention, it is still not the best control option for smart home devices. The market is still waiting for a user-friendly, intuitive, no-hassle-to-learn option to streamline user’s smart home experience. It could be a “killer” mobile app, or some other new way that we haven’t imagined.
 

More to solve: gender bias, costs and privacy

 
Along with lacking a simple control method, the smart home market has other challenges to tackle.
 
First of all, smart home hasn’t been adopted by every user group. “The smart home market is really male-dominated,” said Ablondi. Besides that, “millennials account for about a third of the market, but over half the market is older than the millennial generation.”
 
Second, although the price of smart home devices have dropped in recent years, it’s still a significant investment for a homeowner. But, more people are experiencing smart home technology in their rental places. Newly-built properties are installing smart home devices to standout. According to data from Strategy Analytic, around one-third of smart home households live in rental properties.
 
Most users around the world still don’t trust connected devices to safeguard their data and privacy, according to a survey by the Internet Society.
 
However, as Strategy Analytic’s research showed, almost half of the users owning smart home devices said they wouldn’t want to be without the devices after living with them. “Clearly, there’s a large number of smart homeowners who really feel that (the technologies) are an integral part of their home,” said Ablondi.
 
Strategy Analytic expected the smart home market to grow with an 11 percent annual rate, reaching US$157 billion in 2023.


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