Australians are riding the smart home automation high tide now, with almost one in three are upgrading their homes with smart home technology and one in four are considering adding smart devices to their homes. This is as per a research report in early 2021. We are now midway, and the number of people adopting smart home technology to make their lives simpler, safer and elevated continues to rise. 

It has been observed by experts in the industry that these numbers are set to move faster than the past year, with more products entering the market thanks to the incredible demand, and prices too will become more affordable to most. The market now offers a wide range of devices and solutions for all to try, with a low entry price point to encourage getting started, and then helping scale up as needed. 

It is also noteworthy that 2020 saw many people spending their disposable income on home improvements rather than, say, travel or entertainment (all thanks to the global pandemic that kept most at home through 2020 and beginning of this year as well!). There is also increased awareness and demand for energy efficient appliances and solutions. Spikes that have in the past been noticed only during Christmas, are now being seen all year long. Changing views on lifestyle (some credit to covid and the ‘new normal’ here) and rising disposable income in Australian households have also helped accelerate. This has brought about a fair deal of confidence to all stakeholders in the space. 

Present trends, and projections

Let us look at some numbers derived from studies conducted by various participants, researchers and some stakeholders. Some of these were conducted in the later part of 2020 and the first few months of 2021.

Over the last few years, we have seen a rapid increase in smart home automation devices and technologies globally. Smart sensor technology embedded with IoT devices are also continuing to become more affordable, as mentioned above, and their availability is now wide, and the devices by themselves are more advanced.

Global Smart Home Trends

The smart homes market was valued at USD 79.13 billion in 2020, and it is expected to reach USD 313.95 billion by 2026 and register a CAGR of 25.3% over the forecast period (2021 – 2026).

A recent study indicated that there are over 175 million smart homes in the world right now. Need we say more? It is safe to say that what was spoken as the ‘future’ is now here. 

Smart Home Trends noted in Australia.

  • IoT@Home Market Study conducted by Telsyte found that 26 per cent of all Aussies were considering ways to make their homes smarter and 36 per cent had upgraded their homes during the last year. The study predicts that the Australian market for smart home gear will more than double, from $1.26 billion in 2019 to $4.8 billion by 2024.
  • In a survey conducted in 2020, around 67 per cent of respondents in Australia stated that it was important for their new home to be connected to the National Broadband Network (nbn). In the same survey, 33 percent of respondents stated that built-in smart home solutions were important. (source: statista 2021)
  • As per reports,  2.3 million Australian homes have smart home technology today. It projects that the Australian smart home market will be US$ 4.61 Billion by 2027 from US$ 2.01 Billion in 2020, growing at a staggering CAGR of 12.59% during 2020-2027.
  • The penetration rate of smart home products in Australia is expected to be highest for the comfort and lighting segment in 2025, at 43.2 per cent. Meanwhile, the Statista Digital Market Outlook estimates that home entertainment will have the lowest penetration rate at 22.4 percent. (source: statista 2021)
  • In 2019, there was an average of 18.9 internet-connected devices per household in Australia. This number was forecast to reach 35.6 by 2024. According to the source, the strongest growing segments are smart security, smart outlets, and smart garden devices. (source: statista 2021)

Source: Statista 2021

2021 so far

According to studies as recent as April 2021, it was noted that the ‘comfort’ and ‘lighting segments are leading the smart home trends so far. The penetration rate of smart home products in Australia is expected to be highest for these segments in 2025, at 43.2 per cent.

2021 has seen some rising trends, specifically in the following areas.

Connectivity – more robust, better

Smart integrated homes are all about connectivity. It is the bottom line of all smart devices in the home. Lack or poor quality of connectivity is a big problem hence. It can affect the user experience and influence the adoption rates. 2020 pushed the buttons on this bit, and we now have most stakeholders working hard to strengthen the technology here. There has been extensive research and work carried out to address these challenges via the implementation of different approaches. 

Hubs enable centralised access, control and management for all connected devices. This is what brings all those appliances and your needs together. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth have been the primary technologies used in the past. Now, personalised connectivity hubs like Zigbee, Z-Wave, and other IoT connectivity technologies are being explored widely. 

One single app to control your home – every part of it. On a device in the palm of your hands. That is the focus. 

Wireless technologies

Wireless technology for smart homes started seeing a lot of traction in 2020, and now wireless remote controls have made their way into the smart home market in full force. The focus is on building further efficiencies, keeping things secure and convenient for residents to handle. This helps maintain and control the connected appliances across and also results in huge energy savings. 

The introduction of innovative wireless technologies, including the likes of HVAC controllers, entertainment controls, security and access regulators, is expected to accelerate smart home market growth.

Better security, privacy and confidence

Starting with the exteriors, touchless use doorbells, facial recognition devices, video door alarms, remote-controlled locks, and advanced burglar alarms are some of the most trending smart security devices.

Safety and security have been buzzwords all throughout the past year and is the big motivator this year. While people are carefully examining solutions from this angle, there are also many conversations around data privacy (especially as regards voice assistants and smart speakers). In 2021 and beyond, smart home manufacturers and solution providers will continue to concentrate more on how to minimise data collection while providing maximum service to users.

Advancements in IoT

A recent study observed that the Internet of Things (IoT) advancements that resulted in price drops of sensors and processors are expected to encourage manufacturers to promote automation in the household sector.

This will have a cascading effect in the market, driving more homes to open their doors to the future via smart home automation. 

Moving towards Sentient Homes

Sentient homes refer to homes that are one step ahead of the smart integrated homes we know of now. These homes refer to futuristic homes that will be entirely intuitive, an ecosystem in itself where all internal and external needs of its residents are managed. They explore AI/ ML properties and their potential within homes. AI researchers and developers are working to see this technology push beyond the boundaries. The idea would be to move away from command-activated instructions to becoming ‘contextually aware’. The result would be a uniquely intuitive, interactive home that thinks like a human, even responding to situations as residents would. This space is a work in progress, and wide adoption is perhaps still some time away.

Trending smart devices/ solutions

  1. Smart Speakers and Voice Assistants (including screens)
  2. Interactive Security Monitoring Systems (including cameras)
  3. Smart Thermostats, Zoning systems
  4. Video doorbells, Smart door locks
  5. Smart Light Bulbs, Switches
  6. Motion Sensors and alert systems
  7. Door/Window Entry/ Glass breaking Sensors
  8. Smart energy management systems
  9. Smart Health Monitoring systems (with alert specifications connected to smart assistants)
  10. Others – Home entertainment, geo-fencing, pool motion sensors, smart kitchen appliances

How can we help?

At The Smart Hive, NSW’s own home automation solutions expert, our vision is to deliver to these projections, trends and focus areas – make every home a smart home! We empower builders with Bespoke Smart Home Solutions to enhance property value, assure buyer satisfaction, and help sell homes faster! We also help homeowners upgrade their traditional or partially ‘smart’ homes into their homes for the future. 

For more information, support and assistance to gear up for the future, do give us a call

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