Home Automation Market Poised for Explosive Growth
While the smart home industry has been years in the making, more open approaches, partnerships and falling hardware costs are driving adoption.Home automation hardware, sold as stand-alone units rather than as part of a subscription package, will exceed 300 million in 2020, according to a report from IT analytics firm Juniper Research. This represents growth of more than 1,000 percent from an estimated installed base of 28 million units in 2015, the report noted. While the smart home industry has been years in the making, more open approaches, partnerships and falling hardware costs are driving adoption, while media and retail efforts are aiding in raising consumer awareness. "The principal barriers remain a lack of education, cost concerns and issues with complexity," Steffen Sorrell, senior analyst with Juniper Research, told eWEEK. "We say education because many consumers remain unaware of the smart home concept, while of those that are aware of it, a large proportion are unconvinced of the benefits of the smart home. The fact that additional hardware must be purchased where units still carry a premium, as well as the fact that the consumer still has to know their system before they buy into it: which devices work with which and so on."
The dominant home automation business model will not veer toward subscriptions until sufficient hardware is in place to build smart services on top, and major smart home players looking to reach the global market are failing to address local market demands, hampering their progress.