The Indian smart home market has been witnessing a gigantic growth both in terms of value and volume. High disposable income, and the increasing quest to make life simple and secure, technology has gained prominence in all quarters of life including the designing of homes. Home automation which was once considered as the business of the rich a few years back has now become normal thanks to the increased penetration of smartphones in our lives which has given rise to cheaper data, and reduced hardware costs have made India as the second largest digital market in the world. The COVID-19 pandemic has also given a boost to this segment as consumers have been spending more time at home and are looking for solutions and devices that can offer an increased level of automation.
Connected Home: A Reality in 2021
The vision of a connected home is finally beginning to come together. We are already using voice assistants such as Google or Siri on our smartphones to give commands without having to type it out. Smart speakers with voice assistants continue to see a high demand, being the entry point for most of us into smart homes. And with the ongoing technological advances in voice control and artificial intelligence, these intelligent assistant are now fast becoming a viable control centre for the connected home.
While there are several communication methods, Wi-Fi has been seeing a great potential to grow thanks to their better connectivity, which is needed to operate the smart homes effectively. According to a report by Counterpoint Research, the shipments of Wi-Fi based smart home devices are estimated to grow at a CAGR of 21 per cent between 2020 and 2025. A few product categories including smart television, security camera and smart speaker will be the major drivers in terms of growth and customer adoption. Other product categories include smart thermostat, smart lighting, smart kitchen (including smart fridge, smart dishwasher and smart oven), smart laundry (including smart washing machine and dryer), XR headsets and gaming consoles. Personalised connectivity hubs and other IoT connectivity technologies will take over the smart home market in 2021.
Some of the best smart products worth checking out are:
With the rise in satisfaction levels of smart speaker technology in India, digital voice assistants are now influencing the whole the consumer ecosystem in a way that no other device, including smartphones, has done before. Some of the best smart speakers that can make your life easy are Google Nest Audio, Amazon Echo, Apple Homepod Mini, etc. all of which allow for stream music, Stream music, listen to news, know about the weather and do a lot more.
Smart displays are another great voice-controlled assistants designed for homes, which come with a full-touchscreen display allowing you to stream your favourite shows, music, show weather updates, watch news bulletins, get information on a food recipe, etc. These displays also come with a camera letting you make video calls, or monitor other rooms in your home while working on your daily routine. Products worth checking out in this category include Amazon Echo Show 5, Facebook Portal, Lenovo Smart Clock with Assistant, and Google Nest Hub.
The Golden Opportunity for Developers
While the smart home market is still in an early stage, however, it’s growing rapidly due to both demand- and supply-side push. Wi-Fi is going to be the major driver for growth. This high growth market represents a great opportunity for many players, including real estate developers, to develop homes that are smart as people are looking for properties that are compatible for them to build the smart home of their dreams.
Developers must find the balance on what’s included and what they’ll need to pass on to the consumer. And while this could vary significantly depending on the price point, they would still be at the forefront of what consumers want and, in many cases, what is possible with smart technology in the home. Rather than having an unsystematic way, which a family creates partially overtime after buying a home, new homes will start with an integrated ecosystem in mind for a better buyer experience. The future of the smart home is built on two important factors – seamless integration and network connectivity. In the coming years, we estimate that the use cases will also start evolving to include areas like content consumption and e-commerce.
A large number of houses will qualify as “smart” in the next few years, creating a connected ecosystem from Internet-connected light bulbs to cameras that let us spy on our pets from the office. And thanks to the ongoing advancements in artificial intelligence, the homes of the future would be able to truly learn about their owners or occupants, eventually anticipating their needs. And with the introduction of new sensors, devices our homes could transform from just a collection of gadgets and accessories into truly “smart” homes. Thus, you are more likely going to end up in a smart home, whether you mean it or not.