American consumers are beginning to earnestly adopt smart home technology. CNET reports that market researcher Juniper believes that this year (2017) will see $83 billion in revenue from smart home devices and services. With the US population at 319 million (unclear if the estimates are for US or worldwide sales), that is $261/person! Annual business, they forecast, will hit $195 billion by 2021.
The figures include consumer and business to business sales, but the report holds that smart appliance and home automation will be among the biggest winners.
Google, Amazon, Apple, and Samsung are expected to gain ground in the sector. They have both a base of existing devices and access to cloud services. This is true especially of Amazon with its well received Echo with smart assistant Alexa and its lucrative cloud business line.
The ability of the companies to engage third parties marketing complementary goods and services will, in my mind, be pivotal in the firms’ success or failure. Moreover, whether the companies can build technologies that naturally integrate seamlessly into our lives will prove essential to success. For example, a refrigerator that automatically prompts me to buy milk when my carton runs low adds more value than a refrigerator that will tell me how much milk I have only when asked.
The surging demand for smart home technology will induce more players to bring innovative solutions to market in the coming years. Who will succeed and who will fall by the wayside? Time will tell.
© Peter Roehrich, 2017