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Smart Home

Context is King in Realizing the Vision of the Smart (and Connected) Home

This is an excerpt from Parks Associates research report, Context is King: Video & Audio Analytics, by Chris White, Research Director, Parks Associates.

Context is king in realizing the vision of the smart home. To provide security, convenience, comfort, and cost savings, smart home devices must work together to collect data from tools as varied as cameras, microphones, and sensors and determine appropriate actions to take at just the right time.

These data collection tools are constantly improving, as are the analytics solutions applied to make sense of the data. Audio and video analysis have made significant advancements in the past several years, and smart home industry players are using audio and video analytics in ever-broadening application areas. The increase in competition has created a race to innovate in terms of both costs and features, and efforts to better integrate with other ecosystems. In this incredibly competitive market, solution providers turn to video and audio analytics to make their products more powerful and versatile.

As the analytics get more advanced and consumers and businesses use devices, media headlines feature cybersecurity hacks and sales of surreptitious data between tech companies and governments. The promise of a convenient sci-fi home includes a shade of dystopia that smart home product makers need to contend with when invoking buzzwords like “AI,” “machine learning,” and “facial recognition.” New technologies must address the privacy and security issues and the added benefits of new video and audio analytics features need to outweigh or allay the concerns.

These advancements in video and audio analytics have expanded the capabilities of connected home products. Outside of the smart home, new use cases emerged and are being refined. Industry players have different considerations to consider.

For Hardware Manufacturers – Efficient Analysis

AI features are in demand, and they are getting more demanding. Device makers have to make smart choices for approaches so their companies and devices can keep up.

  • Consider client use cases when balancing cost, speed, size, and energy consumption
  • Plan for analytics evolution on edge, cloud, or hybrid
  • Invest in-house or license outside technology
  • Partner as needed

For Security Providers – Data Arms Race

Consumers want peace of mind, and there are more tools than ever to support them. More and different data must be analyzed to bring that peace of mind for a growing “home” footprint targeted at loved ones and with fewer false alerts.

  • Maximize data collected
  • Audio and video
  • Inside and outside the home
  • Sensors and other types, too!
  • Utilize the edge for speed and privacy; utilize the cloud for flexibility and storage
  • Offset cloud costs by monetizing storage services

For Tech Giants – Keep an Eye on the Little Guys

The presumption is that company giants have the best research teams and new tech, but there is always innovation to be had elsewhere. There is analytics-focused innovation across the value chain, and the giants need to react accordingly.

  • Be on guard for threats from innovators
  • Innovate by research or buy startups with promising tech
  • When choosing software vendors and component OEMs, use both silent partners and branded differentiators

For Ecosystem Players – Insurance, Builders, Property Managers, etc.

A safer, more convenient residence is beneficial to everyone involved. Video and audio analytics features might provide the added level of performance and capability to smart home products that might make the difference in preventing a leak or selling a new condo.

  • Leverage products with analytics for property damage prevention
  • Leverage products with analytics for luxury amenities and differentiation

Thanks for reading our research. Parks Associates surveys 10,000 internet households each quarter. Our proprietary data set is rich with insights and analysis on the customer journey in the adoption of new technologies at home. For more information visit or reach out to our team for a briefing.  

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