The Smart Home Market Insights

THE EVOLVING SMART HOME MARKET: BI Intelligence Research Analyst John Greenough presented at IoT Evolution on the current state of the US smart home market. Here are some of the key takeaways:

Americans are excited and ready for the smart home. Over half of America is excited for the possibility of having smart home devices. In addition, three-quarters of Americans have wireless internet and 57% have a smartphone — two crucial components of the smart home ecosystem.
Security is often cited as the top benefit Americans want when purchasing a smart home system. 41% of Americans said the top benefit of a smart home system is security.
Cable, telephone, and security companies with a large employee base are well positioned to provide home automation systems. Smart home providers including Comcast’s Xfinity Home, Time Warner Cable’s IntelligentHome, ADT Pulse, and AT&T’s Digital Home, have allocated a lot of marketing dollars to help grow their smart home divisions. This could be especially crucial to cable companies who are continuing to lose cable subscribers to cord cutting alternatives.
The US smart home market is currently in the ‘chasm’ of the tech adoption curve. The chasm is the transitional point from the early adopter to mass market phase of the tech adoption curve. It previously occurred in the smartphone market in 2009-2010, when smartphones were proven to be a necessity and were adopted by the masses.
To reach the mass market stage, smart home device makers and providers will have to prove a need for their devices, fix the technological fragmentation, and try to drive down prices.
BII JG IoT Evolution

THE IoT ANALYSTS SPEAK: At IoT Evolution in Las Vegas, multiple IoT analysts participated in a panel discussion on the IoT market. The analysts disagreed over how many devices are going to be connected to the Internet by 2020. This has been a hotly contested topic since the IDC released their original forecast saying 50 billion things will be connected to the Internet by 2020. Multiple firms, including BI Intelligence, have reported varying forecasts which generally fall between 10-200 billion devices. Here are some of the takeaways from the discussion:

The analysts have varying definitions of what is included in the IoT, and therefore have very different forecasts. Some analysts include devices running near field communication (NFC) and RFID, while others do not. Therefore, each forecast needs to be read closely to see what devices are included. These definitions are important for clarity around what the IoT encompasses.
A few of the analysts made the point that the number of devices connected to the internet does not matter. The bigger message these analysts had was that the growth rate is the most important number. We tend to agree with this group of analysts. However, the overarching theme of the IoT is that it will be big and it will make businesses more efficient.

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