According to research from IT firm Gartner, we are just seven years away from a mature smart home market, where the average affluent family will have more than 500 connected devices in their home.
However, this year alone, forecasters are predicting 4.9bn connected “things” will be in used, with smartphones at the core.
With technologies moving at an unprecedented rate, it’s little wonder the technology giants are scrambling to find an edge. Samsung has staked its claim in the smart home market with its purchase of SmartThings. Likewise Apple’s launch of HomeKit has whetted the appetite of many homeowners, while Google’s recent acquisition of Nest has further propelled smart homes into the forefront of people’s minds.
The key drivers for the smart home can be categorised into three main sectors: energy, entertainment and security. It very much depends on individual preference and need, as to which sector will motivate homeowners to invest in smart home systems, and which category will take the lead in the home.
Over the next few weeks, months and years the definition of what makes a home is likely to change dramatically, with a major shift in the way we live, and how we interact with our environment.
Merchants need to be savvy about stocking the right product mix to keep up- to-date with the emerging trends and understand the developments in the market to ensure a successful future.
David Herbert is head of marketing at Yale.