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June 26, 2016

Get Ready for Explosive 'Smart' Home Growth

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Get Ready for Explosive 'Smart' Home Growth

About 100 million households will be “smart” worldwide by the end of the year, and the number will grow to 300 million over the next 10 years, according to a new report released by Deutsche Telekom, a German telecommunications company.

More consumers are embracing “smart” home technology for its promises of home efficiency, convenience, and savings. In the next five years alone, the smart home industry could be worth hundreds of billions of dollars and Deutsche Telekom predicts that it will be one of the next major markets to take off globally.

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Entrepreneurs and start-ups are taking note. They’re focusing on niches like home automation, insurance services, ambient assisted living, and data analytics, according to Deutsche Telekom. “Currently there is an opportunity for smart home security services to provide a reduction in cost for consumers – or even for insurers to offer equipment for free as a method for cutting down on liability,” according to the report.

However, several hurdles are still curtailing smart home adoption rates, such as showing real consumer need, pricing that is often still too high, and too many technologies that still operate in siloed worlds (e.g. light bulbs controlled one way; appliances through another system), according to Deutsche Telekom’s report.

But more consumers are showing an interest in smart home tech. Twenty-eight percent of respondents say they own at least one smart-home product, and nearly half of millennials, ages 18 to 34, say they plan to adopt smart-home technology, according to a joint survey this year of about 4,000 Americans by Coldwell Banker and CNET. Of those who currently use it, 81 percent say they would be more likely to buy a home if smart products — such as connected lighting and thermostats, remote-access security, and smart locks — were already installed.

"Smart-home technology is catching on because it is literally changing the way we live in our homes," says Sean Blankenship, chief marketing officer for Coldwell Banker. "Not only is it shifting the financial perception of the home, but it's also transforming our emotional connection to our homes. We believe that in three to five years, home buyers will expect smart-home technology — it will become the new norm."

Source: “Smart Home Sector Could Be Worth Hundreds of Billions in Next Five Years,” Forbes.com (Sept. 30, 2015) and “Smarter Entrepreneurs Finding Smaller Sector Opportunities From Smart Homes,” Forbes.com (Sept. 30, 2015)