Have you purchased a smart home gadget in the past year? If you did, you are part of a growing trend. The adoption of smart home technology is growing rapidly.
according to just a study“The global smart home market is expected to grow from $99.89 billion in 2021 to $380.52 billion in 2028.” That’s a lot more smart speakers, wireless home alarms, smart plugs and Wi-Fi connected lights than ever before, and the smart kitchen segment of this market is expected to grow by approximately 25% by 2023.
So what’s driving this increased interest in the smart home, and what are we consumers looking for when we consider spending our hard-earned income on new smart home devices?
What drives the smart home? Security
We all want to feel safe in our homes and safety is a basic need of society. Whether we want to protect a 75-inch OLED TV and full surround sound system, or want to make sure our Google Nest Audio doesn’t walk away while we’re at work, everyone has things they want to protect. Increasingly, this translates into smart home security systems and remote wireless cameras.
Until 10 and 20 years ago, home security systems were complicated and required advanced wiring, large installation technicians and sensors, and expensive monthly monitoring.
Today, it couldn’t be easier to install a Wi-Fi connected wireless home alarm system yourself – and the average cost is no more than a few hundred dollars. Most of these home security systems, like Ring Alarm, are modular, allowing you to purchase only the components you need for the size of your space, and they also typically offer add-ons such as door break sensors. glass, water and frost sensors, and cameras. and video doorbells.
If you’ve ever lost an Amazon package on your doorstep, you know the uncomfortable feeling that some jerk took something you paid for. This peace of mind from a simple doorbell camera can not only make you feel better and safer, but it can also act as a deterrent to crime.
And after? You may have already heard of Amazon’s foray into the next generation of this technology; the company announced the Astro roaming robot that would become a de facto security guard, or maybe you took note of the Ring Always Home patrol drone. These are real-world concepts that are about to be ready for the consumer.
Being environmentally conscious was a buzzword, and for many people it rang hollow. How could we be environmentally conscious and kind to the planet, when we drive gas-powered cars, receive packages in reams of cardboard and crank up the thermostat every time we get a chill?
Smart home gadgets have made it possible for us to not only understand and appreciate the concept, but also to fully embrace it, mainly because it’s now easy. We don’t have to feel guilty about driving or suffering from the winter cold because our smart home gadgets can help us save the planet in other ways.
Consider saving energy when it comes to home heating and cooling, and how that is changed with the smart thermostat. In an ideal world, the furnace or air conditioner produces no air when no one is home or when we sleep under duvets.
Once upon a time, you had to get up and physically adjust the thermostat, so our parents and grandparents left it on (or at my house, downstairs). Then came programmable thermostats, which some families tried to adopt, but many others did not due to the complexity of programming them. Today, smart thermostats like the ones from Google Nest and Amazon practically install themselves. They can make schedules much easier to automate and reduce power consumption when needed, and these devices can even detect when humans are in the house and adapt to our routines without more work on our part. We can strategically use less energy without too much effort.
Apply smart thermostat logic to our use of smart lighting and the benefits are even more apparent. Smart lights, like those from Philips Hue, LIFX, and GE’s Cync, can be turned on and off using motion sensors, occupancy sensing, or simple schedules. This means no longer leaving lights on all day or night when no one is in a room.
The resulting lower energy bills over time is nice, but we can also feel good about reducing our impact on the environment.
The next phase of this market could be improved presence detection in smaller devices so that, for example, the fan in your home office turns on when you enter the room and turns off when you leave. .
The smart home is also the promise of a better future. A few decades ago, the idea of a smart home sounded like the Jetson cartoon, or maybe an episode of Star Wars. We all thought we would have flying cars and robot butlers and be able to live a life of leisure with our robot assistants catering to our every whim. Although we are not there yet, the smart home has changed our lives in many ways.
We have robot vacuums that can detect when we leave and sweep or mop while we’re out, ensuring we don’t spend so much time cleaning. Going back to this need for security, we have door locks that can also detect if our smartphones have left our geographical area and guarantee that the house is locked, even if we have forgotten it. There are even devices like Eve Aqua that can not only trigger lawn and vegetable garden watering, but also suspend their own watering schedule if there is rain in the forecast. Yes, the only thing better than asking your digital assistant to do something for you is for the assistant to act intelligently on its own.
The next phase of automation is also already coming to a smart home near you. Robot vacuums, like the Roborock S7 Max V Ultra, have built-in cameras so you can peek around the house and keep an eye on your pets.
Over the past few years, we’ve also seen explosive growth in a particular segment of the automation industry: smart kitchen appliances. According to a recent release, “In North America, the demand for smart home appliances, including smart kitchen appliances, is increasing due to increasing disposable income and improving individual lifestyle. Canada is also seeing an increase in the number of affluent individuals purchasing an increased number of smart devices as part of home or home automation practices.
While some of us aren’t specifically rushing to upgrade to smart kitchen appliances, we are increasingly looking to them when it comes time to replace our aging appliances. And when you are promised help in the kitchen, who would say no? I’m personally looking forward to a fridge that can read the barcode (or RFID chip) of anything that goes in or out of it and can keep a detailed inventory of everything in it. While some smart fridges have a camera for a quick remote view, it doesn’t matter much if the cream is hidden behind a giant jug of orange juice.
So what’s in the kitchen that makes smart technology so alluring? Add it to food. Nowadays, humans are obsessed with food; we like to show off our meals on Instagram, decorate cakes on TikTok and brag about dining out on Twitter. TV food shows keep coming, with every premise under the sun already covered (I’m looking at you, Is it cake?).
The truth is that while we love to obsess over food, not all of us are adept at cooking it, and the promise of automation and perfection of gadgets like the Breville Joule Sous Vide, the Thermomix TM6 food processor or even The new Tineco Toasty Smart Toaster has put us within reach of perfection (and subsequent social media stardom, right?).
If you’re new to the smart home concept or have been resistant to adopting these gadgets, you may find it increasingly difficult to buy small appliances (or even big ones like fridges, stoves and dishwashers) that don’t come with some type of smart technology because manufacturers are watching these trends and adding smart technology to almost everything. There’s already an Alexa-enabled coffee maker, a Google-enabled oven that just lets you request a preheat cycle, a LG dishwasher that can contact support to diagnose a problem, and smart countertop ovens that can order their own groceries. Think back to the advent of smart TVs a few years ago; when they launched, you had to look for a smart TV. Today, I’m struggling to find a new TV on the market that doesn’t have streaming and Wi-Fi already built in.
Chances are, if you think of a use case for adding intelligence to a home device or gadget, it’s coming soon.