The next chapter of innovation and technology for the modern world is the smart home. Currently, we have smart home assistants such as Alexa and Google Home, as well as smart home appliances like fridges that can play music and display digital photo albums, and even have cameras that can connect to your phone so you can double check your grocery list at the store. Clearly, the smart home market is growing, and growing fast.
Research indicates that the smart house market is only just getting started, and future developments will blow the American population away. There are many innovations on the market and in development, as well as more than a few gaps that make room for further opportunities.
Smart Home Market in the U.S.
Currently, smart home markets account for billions of dollars in worldwide profit. They are just passing the beginner stage, marking the start of a chapter that will change the way we live. By providing luxury and amping up the ease of access in our homes, smart home inventions will help us spend more of our time on meaningful tasks rather than mundane household chores.
According to Statista, the global smart home market has grown from $24 billion in 2010 to $31 billion in 2018. This success is expected to continue and grow to $53 billion by 2022. This validates an increase in popularity and demand as smart houses become more available and accessible to the public.
Similarly, in the U.S., revenues are expected to cross $18 billion in 2018, and will likely to grow to $31 billion by 2022 with an annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.8 percent, according to another report by Statista. The U.S. is one of the global leaders in smart home technology, with over 50 percent of global revenues being generated here.
Market Gaps and Opportunities
Despite the remarkable expansion in the smart home market, there are a few shortcomings, as should be expected in a budding market. Business Insider reports that these shortcomings have remained the same since 2015, and include high prices, technology fragmentation, and the lack of perceived benefits from consumers.
In another article, Business Insider also reported that the market is only just entering the mass market phase, indicating a wide realm of opportunity. This means that the industry is only barely taking shape and has every opportunity to expand into different specialties.
Healthcare and Smart Homes
One opportunity and a current gap in the market is healthcare in smart homes. Duquesne University reports that the internet of things is taking the healthcare industry towards a brighter future by making it easier for nurses and doctors to monitor patients through innovations such as blood sugar monitors, vital signs sensors, radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags, and brain-computer interfaces.
This will make in-home care more accessible for patients and can even help provide seniors with more comfort and safety in their homes. As the technology progresses, patients will hopefully be offered a bit more comfort and ease as they battle illnesses with the help of smart homes. This can be an area that, if capitalized on, can bring great positive effects on medical patients.
Security and Smart Homes
Clearly, the exciting potential for smart home technology also comes with the huge risk of connecting your personal data to so many hackable devices. This is why one of the largest gaps and opportunities for growth in the smart home market is security. While most current homeowners worry about physical break-ins, smart home owners will need to have trusted security for each and every device in their smart homes.
Each smart home device connected to the internet has the potential to leak personal and private information into the wrong hands. This will be a massive addition to the information we currently store on our phones, tablets, and laptops, making them ripe targets for cyber criminals to steal.
BBC recently reported on how one woman was spied on by her smart home. After she transformed her one bedroom apartment into a smart home, she realized most of her devices — from her toothbrush to her Amazon Alexa — were sharing data as often as every three minutes. Another report by NPR covers the story of a woman who threw away her baby cameras after realizing they had been hacked while she was breastfeeding. The report says that such devices, like cameras and other gadgets connected to the internet, have very little digital security and can be easily hacked.
The Future of Smart Home Technology
The future of smart home technology is set to grow and expand in ways we can’t yet imagine, but there are some areas that are sure to grow. At a glance, the future of smart home technology will veer towards voice control and home security, but will also branch off into the following areas:
Greater role for artificial intelligence
Interoperation and energy efficiency
Homeowner data sharing
Increased efficiency, control, and customization
Smart kitchen gadgets
Another direction that smart home technology is sure to head toward is green home building, which is a great way to save energy and money at the same time. For example, smart appliances can save over 10 percent of energy costs and smart thermostats can work to make sure that the air conditioning and heating aren’t overused.
At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2018, many up and coming smart home gadgets were showcased. According to Curbed, some of the best gadgets included a wireless kitchen, in-home delivery and smart locks, a remote control in the form of a ring, and data apps for better health, such as smart alarm clocks and sleeping robots to cuddle with.
The future of smart home technology is certainly projected to be a bright one, expanding to the homes of millions of Americans in a few short years. With caution and preparation in home security, as well as a continuation of innovation and new ideas, the smart home market will pleasantly surprise the American population as it becomes accessible to larger segments of the public.
About the Author
Avery T. Phillips is a freelance human being with too much to say. She loves nature and examining human interactions with the world. Comment or tweet her @a_taylorian with any questions or suggestions.