I’m sure we can all remember the early 2000s sitcom jokes about clapping to turn the lights on. Well, today this joke is not far from the truth. Home automation has become a reality. It might not be a clap, but with a tap on an app, we can now control most utilities. And it is not only the novelty of such innovations that is so appealing. Consumers want products that will help them save money, save the environment and stay safe.
Investment in home automation has been growing in line with rising demand. The sector is expected to be valued at $130billion by 2025. New products are constantly arriving on the market, and items such as smart refrigerators and smart thermostats already are a common feature in many homes. According to a survey by Angie’s List, the most popular home automation product amongst respondents was a Smart TV, with 41% of those surveyed confirming they own at least one.
Smart thermostats were the second most popular product: 23% of people surveyed had one. onefourzero’s data confirms this trend. Online mentions of smart thermostats rose by 17% between July 2017 and July 2018. Only 21% of consumer sentiment towards the product was negative. The predominately positive conversation online suggests customers are keen to take on this new technology. Plus, the sector shows opportunity to grow even more.
Products such as the Nest Learning Thermostat gets to know you and your habits and programs itself accordingly. It analyses the temperature you prefer and looks at how quickly your house warms up. This smart piece of technology can also tell how draughty it is. All in all, it’s an intelligent piece of technology that can help save you money and be eco-friendlier.
Another popular product type within home automation is security and surveillance systems. 17% of respondents to the Angie’s List survey confirmed they already have a smart home alarm or security system installed, and the trend is likely to grow. Online mentions of “home security system” and “home security camera” rose by 26% between July 2017 and July 2018. Interestingly, there was a spike around Christmas. There were 11,694 posts on the subject in the week from 17th December 2017 to 23rd December 2017. This suggests people worry more about their safety when families are out celebrating and expensive gifts are in the house. With a smart CCTV system, for example, homeowners can relax knowing they can monitor their home from afar and be notified of any unexpected activities in their house. Peace of mind is, after all, the ultimate convenience.
The list of home automation appliances could go on and on, and today we probably don’t even notice ourselves using some of them, such as Amazon Echo or Google Home. These smart personal assistants have many features and can be personalised to fit your lifestyle. From reading the news, updating your calendar, acting as a DJ or allowing purchases via voice, these digital personal assistants are one of customers’ current favourite toys. Google Home is marketed as a ‘housemate that’s here to help’.
Helping is exactly the goal of all home automation systems. The aim of these products is to make life easier through convenience and simplicity. In an ever more hectic world, a little assistance from a machine couldn’t be more welcome. It explains why investments in automation and AI technologies is on the rise. There is still plenty of room for growth. While companies use creativity to change the way we live, customers keep demand on the rise by welcoming these innovations and looking forward to what’s next. We can now make coffee through an app – soon we might want a smart oven to have dinner ready when we get home from work. Whether it’s by clapping or tapping, home automation is here to stay – and investors should make the most of the opportunities this brings.