The growth of smart homes continues apace: According to Berg Insights, some 22.5 million households in Europe had been fitted with such technology by the end of 2017. North America is close behind with 22.3 million.
The garage opens automatically when the car hits the driveway. The front door unlocks and opens after a quick fingerprint scan. And the command, “Alexa, turn on some cozy light and play my after-work playlist on Spotify,” means you’ve truly arrived at home for the evening. It’s what awaits those living in an intelligent, networked house. People appreciate the comfort these smart homes provide and are investing accordingly: A new study by Berg Insights counted some 45 million households in Europe and North America with a smart home application in 2017. Europe has 22.5 million such systems in operation and North America is close behind with 22.3 million – even though there are far fewer households on that continent. The market researcher forecast that the technology will continue to see the strong growth of recent years until at least 2022. The experts predict North America will have 63 million (44 percent) connected households by then and Europe will have 84 million.
COMFORT, SECURITY, ENERGY CONSERVATION
Smart home residents especially appreciate having intelligent thermostats, lighting, cameras, air conditioning, door locks, electrical outlets and speakers. The preferred brands include Nest, Signify, Belkin, D-Link, Assa Abloy, Haier, Sonos, Amazon and Google. North Americans (42 percent) particularly favor security solutions. In Europe, by contrast, households prefer classic solutions for home automation, such as heating and lighting applications to help conserve energy. Systems that residents can install themselves are also quite popular, such as those offered by Deutsche Telekom, eQ3 or Verisure. Smart speakers have spurred dramatic growth in the sector. Especially Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home are winning over users. Controlling lighting, music, shades and heating with voice commands is extremely convenient and a smart speaker can also be used as the hub for all smart home applications.
SMART HOME AS HEALTH MONITOR
Frost and Sullivan predict that the smart homes of the future will offer much more than simply domestic comfort and convenience. Your own four walls could soon help ensure you stay healthy. How’s that? All kinds of sensors in a smart watch, mattress or floor could measure vital signs and movements. A smartphone might save your glucose levels and the toilette could even determine important readings from your urine – cleverly combined, your smart home would have a constant image of your current state of health. Collected long-term, this data can give a detailed picture of your overall wellbeing. Even the smallest changes would become noticeable. A health monitor would provide preventative care, but also could also aid the chronically ill or those needing nursing care. At the moment, these Internet of Things (IoT) applications are still operating in silos, but partnerships could connect technology providers in meaningful ways to create the foundation for an entire ecosystem. Of course, these companies will need to do everything they possibly can to protect their users’ sensitive data and store it securely.
IoT Marketing Communication Manager
Pamela Buchwald has been part of the Telekom cosmos since 2016 and is very familiar with the Internet of Things. From general IoT trends to industry know-how and connected mobility, the blog highlights exciting topics related to connected things.