Recently there’s been some buzz suggesting that smart home technology is waning in popularity, but those reports are mistaken.
In fact, according to the Consumer Technology Association, as reported by Digital Trends, technology sales are supposed to top $400 billion this year for the first time, in large part because of growing smart home tech purchases.
These sales increases also reflect the greater overall saturation of technology in people’s daily lives, such as through the emergence of smart cities, ridesharing apps, and even in job searches. What’s so distinctive about smart home technology, however, is just how quickly the sector has grown and how personal its use is.
Home Security’s Popularity
One of the most popular types of smart home technology, and a common choice for individuals who might otherwise be reluctant to adopt these devices, are those elements related to home security.
According to McGuyver Homebuilders’ CEO Gary Tesch, smart security services are so popular that his company now offers a standard package for those offerings, including smart locks, connected alarms, and remote-controlled lights. Buyers often upgrade this with added audio-visual equipment, but security devices are the most in-demand.
Many rental properties today are also equipped with smart security devices, and this offers a number of advantages to tenants and landlords alike, such as the ability to reprogram smart locks between tenants and video surveillance that can help prevent package theft in multi-unit properties. Such devices can also be a source of conflicts between tenants and landlords, though, because some landlords will be tempted to use those devices to infringe on their tenants’ privacy. Because of this issue, the property management specialists at Green Residential suggest landlords set clear boundaries around smart home devices. This may include providing access to overrides, allowing tenants to disconnect smart technology, and clearly setting out all the ways that the devices may be used by either party.
Audio As Introduction
While smart security devices may be the most popular with individuals designing a new home, for the average individual living in either an apartment or a home that they aren’t planning to renovate, smart speakers are a more common point of entry. According to NPR’s Smart Audio Report, 21% of adults own a smart speaker, and 69% of them use the device daily.
The smart speaker market, which includes Amazon’s Alexa, Google Home, and Apple’s HomePod, offers buyers a range of options, most of which are easy to use, and they often serve as the point of connection for additional devices. This includes coordinating such things at smart lighting and appliances, setting alarms, and even making phone calls and controlling the television and sound system.
The Future Of Smart Homes
Smart speakers and security devices are fairly common in homes today, but the smart homes of the future will involve much more complex, all-encompassing digital environments. It will be normal for homeowners to be able to control their appliances remotely, monitor their habits, and increase the household’s overall energy efficiency. Indeed, not only will there be a wider number of options on the smart home market in a few years, but its inclusion will be as common as electricity or plumbing, according to architect Michael Gardner.
Designing homes around smart technology will decrease the expense of installing it and is key to driving adoption. Right now the need to do extensive remodeling, such as tearing out walls to wire new systems into place, can discourage interested homeowners from installing these devices and place them out of reach of renters. By assuming interest in these devices rather than positioning them as a custom addition, smart home technology could reach complete market saturation within the next decade.
Larry Alton is a professional blogger, writer, and researcher. A graduate of Iowa State University, he's now a full-time freelance writer and business consultant.Currently, Larry writes for Entrepreneur.com, Inc.com, and Forbes.com, among others. In addition to journalism, technical writing and in-depth research, he’s also active in his community and spends weekends volunteering with a local non-profit literacy organization and rock climbing. Follow him on Twitter (@LarryAlton3), at LinkedIn.com/in/larryalton, and on his website, LarryAlton.com. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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