Observing the package deliverer from your office chair while he delivers your Amazon parcel, preheating your flat while you’re on your way home, opening your homes door automatically with an app – the digital network has already reached our homes. Smart Home means connected devices, which control and regulate various functions in our homes. Meanwhile it has become a billion-dollar market.
Voice assistants like Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Apple Homepod are able to turn the lights on and off, answer questions and play music. But smart devices can do much more than that if they are adjusted and managed properly. Fully automated processes that are orientated to the user’s habits can make living in one’s own home more comfortable, efficient and, sometimes, cheaper.
Smart Home also offers opportunities for businesses
Smart Home solutions offer completely new lucrative sales channels for businesses. Because businesses can gain access to an unprecedented wealth of data and completely new ways of interacting with their own target group.
A few years ago, Smart Home was a field of experimentation for a lot of startups. Nowadays, it has become a highly interesting mass market, which has also been taken into account by large corporations and medium-sized companies. At the beginning of 2019, Amazon announced over 100 million smart speakers sold. IKEA sells a smart lighting system, which can be controlled via app and usual voice assistants. The assortment is currently supplemented by smart sockets and smart blinds.
One pioneer in the business of app-controlled thermostats is the company tado from Munich.
Telekom and RWE now offer their own hardware and control centers for the smart home business, creating completely new ecosystems for third-party applications and services. The startup Tink from Berlin intents to become the “Amazon for smart home products”: With its own comparison and sales platform for products around the topic smart home Tink intends to play a major role in the market.
The hardware is getting cheaper, the usage is getting easier and the security is getting better and better. But privacy is still a big deal for many users. Although language assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and the Google Assistant are playing an increasingly central role, there are still many isolated solutions and not the one, large and leading operating system. Particularly successful are devices that are limited to individual functions, e.g. networked lamps like Philips Hue or speakers like the Amazon Echo.
Smart and strong in sales
According to the Statista Smart Home Report, around 63 billion euros are currently sold in the market worldwide. The biggest revenue driver are smart household appliances with a turnover share of 19 billion euros. According to the forecast, the global market volume is said to have more than doubled to EUR 132 billion by 2023.
However, the sale of networked devices for home automation to private end users – so-called stand-alone solutions – is only a small part of the smart home business: sales drivers are mainly integrated smart home solutions, which connect the whole house with any number of devices and network sensors.
According to the Statista Smart Home Report, the average revenue in the Smart Home Appliances segment is currently € 302.73. With sales of EUR 25 billion, the USA is the largest market for smart homes, ahead of China, Japan, Germany and the United Kingdom. According to Deloitte’s market researchers, 16 percent of Germans use smart home offers on a cross-age average.
By the way, the last employee in the new bam! office does not turn off the light at the end of the day, but the smart lighting system from Philips Hue does.