The research — Telsyte Australian IoT@Home Market Study 2019 — found more than five million Australian households — or more than 50% of total households — had started the smart home journey with at least one IoT@Home product installed by the end of 2018.
The increase of more than 30% — from around four million households in 2017 — was primarily due to surging adoption of smart speakers.
Among the five million IoT@Home adopters, Telsyte research found that about a quarter were considered “invested” in smart home technology, with at least five different IoT@Home products already installed – e.g. cameras, smart plugs, smart lighting and smart appliances.
And at the end of 2018, the average Australian household had 17 connected devices, primarily made up of smartphones, computers, tablets and other gadgets.
Telsyte said these “invested” IoT@Home adopters were more likely to be younger families and tech enthusiasts who have a range of consumer devices, such as drones, VR headsets, and location tracking tags.
The research also shows rising energy costs have been driving adoption of smart energy solutions and government’s investment in renewable energy and subsidies for smart batteries are expected to boost the IoT@Home smart energy segment in the medium term.
And, the smart energy segment is now worth more than one-third of the total IoT@Home market by revenue.
Telsyte says that smart connected appliances (e.g. whitegoods) are expected to be the longer term IoT@Home market revenue driver beyond 2020, making up about 40% of the industry’s annual revenue by 2023.
Telsyte managing director Foad Fadaghi said there was a growing demand for smarter homes.
“Nearly a third of Australians are interested in modernising their current residence to make it smarter,” he said.
The research also found that among people looking to spend to make their home smarter, more than 40% of their budget is set to be spent on improving energy efficiency or making the home safer.
Telsyte says that while DIY IoT@Home solutions had been gaining in popularity, there were new opportunities for professional installers and services providers.
“The market is ready for professional services with Telsyte research showing 45% of Australians value an installer’s advice, and one in three households will require professional assistance to setup smart devices or appliances,” the company said.
Telsyte also said support services would be most important for sophisticated devices such as smart intercoms and smart locks and other smart sensor-based products such as smart water taps.
In fact, the analyst firm said the research revealed that one in three Australians were interested in monthly subscription IoT@Home services such as home security monitoring and energy monitoring and optimisation services.
And, Australia’s IoT@Home market continued to benefit from surging smart speaker adoption and Telsyte forecast the smart speaker category would continue to be the most successful IoT@Home product throughout 2019 with 2.5 million (26%) Australian households using smart speakers by end of the year, up from 1.6 million (16%) in 2018.
According to the research, there is also a growing number of people interested in smart speaker applications – with some one in four IoT@Home adopters and potential adopters interested in controlling IoT@Home and other connected devices, such as controlling lights and unlocking doors using smart speakers.
"Getting everyday info" overtook playing music as the most frequently used daily smart speaker application in 2018.
And while concerns remained around privacy and security, Telsyte’s research showed there was a growing acceptance of smart speakers having access to different applications, devices and data sources, particularly amongst entertainment-related apps and security cameras.
Google remained the leader in the smart speaker market in 2018 with more than 70% of the main smart speakers sold being the Google Home series.
Telsyte forecast Google and Amazon smart “assistant” speakers would continue to be the top two sellers during 2019.