Monday, 30 November 2015 22:06

Smart home automation hardware to boom: over 1000% growth, 300m units by 2020

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From Flickr, re-use allowed: https://www.flickr.com/photos/106574022@N04/11449016436 From Flickr, re-use allowed: https://www.flickr.com/photos/106574022@N04/11449016436

Open smart home platforms and partnerships are predicted to drive adoption of home automation hardware, with over 300m units by 2020, up from 28m in 2015.

Smart home automation sales are about to smarten up dramatically, according to new research from the gurus at Juniper.

The company has found that ‘home automation hardware, sold as standalone units rather than as part of a subscription package, will exceed 300 million in 2020. This represents growth of over 1000% from an estimated installed base of 28 million units in 2015.’

Noting the smart home industry ‘has been years in the making,’ the prediction is that ‘more open approaches, partnerships and falling hardware costs are driving adoption. Furthermore, media and retail efforts are aiding in raising consumer awareness.’

What we’ll see is today’s connected ‘islands’ moving towards ‘smart ecosystems.’

Juniper’s new research, dubbed ‘Smart Home Ecosystems & the Internet of Things: Strategies & Forecasts 2015-2020,’ which as always in on sale to relevant parties at relevant prices, found that early ‘piecemeal’ hardware efforts ‘simply created isolated smart automation units.’

Open platform efforts, such as those championed by SmartThings and Wink have nevertheless driven more cohesive ecosystems. Meanwhile Deutsche Telekom’s open platform, Qivicon, demonstrates a shift in attitude even for incumbent service providers, who traditionally prefer total control over their services.

Research author Steffen Sorrell said: “There’s light at the end of the tunnel. Open approaches certainly help move the connected home towards a smarter one. However, the consumer still needs to be convinced: that will be the job of retail to solve, and that’s a question of educating both employee and consumer.”

It also turns out that retailers are going to be a major force in smart home automation’s future, with Juniper’s research finding that, ‘due to the lack of consumer understanding of the smart home value proposition, retail is to play a crucial role.’

Indeed, said Juniper, ‘efforts such as Target’s Open House; a smart home demonstration centre; offer consumers a ‘show and tell’ and rapid understanding of the benefits of the smart home.’

Nevertheless, the researchers warn, ‘retail continues to grapple with effective product placement, staff education and the fact that many brands remain unfamiliar to consumers.’

More below, please read on!

Other Key Findings include:

  • The dominant home automation business model will not veer towards subscriptions until sufficient hardware is in place to build smart services on top.
  • Major smart home players looking to reach the global market are failing to address local market demands, hampering their progress.

As usual, Juniper has a whitepaper to tempt potential buyers into opening their wallets, dubbed ‘Connected Homes ~ Getting Smarter.

It is available to down from the link above, together with further details of the new research and interactive dataset.

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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