FreeWord – What is delaying Smart House deployment?

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Hello folks, it’s FreeWord time! Tune your smart meter on the right frequency and enjoy!

The idea of a smart house or home automation isn’t a new concept. The original purpose of a smart home was to infuse intelligence and automation into it by creating an environment that senses and reacts to our every move. With all the technological advancements that have taken place over the last decade, you’d think our homes would be a lot ‘smarter’ by now. Despite the fact that smart houses have raised a lot of attention at the industrial level, and among early adopters, mainstream consumer adoption has remained very low. Consumers have numerous options from smart thermostats, voice assistants, and intelligent lights to many other devices. Basically, a smart option exists for every electronic device in your home. However, there is a definite disconnect between market hype and actual consumer behavior. So, what’s holding the smart home sector back? What are the opportunities for innovation to encourage mass adoption? There are several things we need to overcome.

Value

Thanks to the recent widespread adoption of high-speed broadband, consumers are now enjoying a proliferation of connectivity within their homes and on the go. At the beginning of the IoT era, it was assumed that by connecting things like the TV, refrigerator, lights, curtains, and a bathtub together would create value for smart homes. But what is the real value of connecting everything in the house? Without solving an actual customer use case or benefiting society, it does not simply create enough value to motivate mass consumer adoption. Market relevance needs to be better addressed since end-users should not only like the product but also need it.

Compatibility

Most brands focus their production around a single application or product category, which in practice means that smart home products are narrowed to specific brands without the ability to connect with other manufacturers’ products. The best way to ensure things can connect adequately is to stick with one product ecosystem and hope the manufacturer keeps updating the outdated products as technology advances.

Simplicity

Instability – Unresponsive device, loss of connectivity, and other technical issues. When your smart home stops working, there might not be much you can do about it.

Installation – Many smart home products can be challenging to install. You might find yourself troubleshooting the worst aspects of owning a smart home.

Usability – Consumers often find themselves battling with difficulties getting the software/Apps to work properly and might often find the device’s features difficult to use.

Smart home technology has typically aimed at making life more efficient, but really it needs to think about making people more comfortable.

-CLAIRE CARROLL

Security and Privacy

Smart home tech is uniquely positioned. It lives in our most intimate spaces: where we eat, talk, dress, and sleep. Sure, your camera can be disabled, but the tools of surveillance are still there. The cameras and microphones we bring into our homes are creating the conditions for a privacy-denuded society. For example, not many people were aware that Amazon and Google have been collecting data by recording people with smart speakers and other gadgets.

Security and privacy is a legitimate threat that cannot be overlooked. Consumers have an understandable fear that without appropriate safeguards, hackers can gain access to their homes and personal information through their smart house devices. Both developers and users should holistically protect their smart homes against cyber-attacks, including ensuring transparent data policies, sufficient protective layers of security protection, and encrypted data.

New Innovation

Technology is improving at an exponential rate, and smart home technology is no exception – the new emerging industry will be either connected or smart. Smart homes offer countless opportunities for innovation and open up huge potential for investors and industry participants.

Illustration by Jameson Simpson for TIME

The Future of Smart Homes

Despite the slow smart home introduction, according to Statista, the future of smart homes is creating a high-level buzz, and it is estimated that there will be around 31 billion devices connected to the internet by 2020, and it’s expected to grow to 75.4 billion by 2025. Smart systems are starting to take place in more and more households, and consumers are estimated to be willingly spending more money on them. 

Source: https://audioxpress.com/news/global-smart-home-market-to-hit-155-billion-by-2023

Conclusion

We’re moving away from remote control days towards an era where the technology is smart enough to predict and act based on our past behaviors, weather conditions, etc. The mass market is ready to open doors for smart homes, but the correct foundation must be laid for technology to be broadly embraced. Companies need a better understanding of their customers’ behavior at home. This means understanding what home means to them and customer attitudes throughout their various life stages. By achieving a better comprehension of consumer needs, it’s possible to create a full, seamless experience for the user. Once we have found the correct use cases – the revolution of smart homes will happen, and it will start by manual processes becoming intelligent and automated. Eventually making our lives easier and allowing you to save money, energy, and the environment.


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Picture credit: https://internetofthingsagenda.techtarget.com/definition/smart-home-or-building, https://beyondexclamation.com/home-smart-home-thanks-iot/

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