Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Smart Home Device in Every Other Home by 2020

While the number of applications for machine to machine (M2M) communications devices and so-called smart home devices are increasing, it's easy to wonder if the demand for these devices is likewise on an upward spiral as well. According to a new study from Parks Associates, meanwhile, the answer to that is a very clear yes, sufficiently so that the company believes that, by the year 2020, 50 percent of all broadband-capable homes in the United States will have a smart home device inside its confines, working its will on at least some internal household system.

The Parks Associates study will likely play a part at the upcoming Internet of Things World show in Palo Alto, in which Parks Associates' director of home controls and energy research, Tom Kerber, will offer up an analyst breakfast briefing entitled “The Evolution of the Smart Home.” Later, Kerber will also chair a session called “The Smart Home”, showing that Parks Associates clearly has plenty to say on the topic of the smart home.

Indeed, Kerber had plenty to offer even ahead of the analyst breakfast and chaired session. Kerber noted several key points about the smart home market that should make many take notice. First, there was the assertion that the “consumer adoption of smart home solutions is growing at a rapid pace.” To support that, Kerber then pointed to research showing that 43 percent of broadband-capable households in the United States were willing to purchase a smart home package on some front, either safety, security, or home management. Moreover, Kerber noted that industry leaders were seeing some substantial growth, growing around 100 percent year over year, showing that the smart home market was, as Kerber put it, “booming.”

These projections, in large part, don't seem to be out of line, really. After all, as more smart home devices hit the market, doing more things than previous versions do, it sparks more interest on the part of consumers. The increased interest drives demand, though generally not at the levels described by Parks Associates. What helps get demand to that impressive level, however, is how the new devices impact demand, and how that demand filters to the rest of the market. It sort of snowballs, in some projections; when there are more demand for devices, since the devices can do more things, other companies see the new demand and want in on the action as well. That brings out still more devices, and prices get adjusted accordingly in a bid to get more people interested in that particular line of devices. It's a maturing market, and we're starting to see a lot more devices come into the field than ever before. Even Apple, at last report, was looking to get in on the smart home market to at least some degree, though Apple's smart home designs weren't exactly heavy on the devices.

So we have a market that looks to see some pretty substantial growth in the fairly near term, and while only time will tell if it hits the levels that Parks Associates projects, it's a pretty safe bet that demand for smart home devices is going to reach some impressive levels.

From the article, "Smart Home Device in Every Other Home by 2020" by Steve Anderson. 

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