HAMPSHIRE, United Kingdom — Home automation hardware, sold as standalone units, is forecast to exceed 300 million units by 2020, according to Juniper Research. This represents growth of over 1,000 percent from an estimated installed base of 28 million units in 2015. While the smart home industry has been years in the making, more open approaches, partnerships, and falling hardware costs are driving adoption. Furthermore, media and retail efforts are aiding in raising consumer awareness.
The new research, “Smart Home Ecosystems & the Internet of Things: Strategies & Forecasts 2015-2020,” found that early ‘piecemeal’ hardware efforts simply created isolated smart automation units. Open platform efforts, such as those championed by SmartThings and Wink, have driven more cohesive ecosystems. Meanwhile Deutsche Telekom’s open platform, Qivicon, demonstrates a shift in attitude even for incumbent service providers, who traditionally prefer total control over their services.
“There’s light at the end of the tunnel” noted research author Steffen Sorrell. “Open approaches certainly help move the connected home towards a smarter one. However, the consumer still needs to be convinced; that will be the job of retail to solve, and that’s a question of educating both employee and consumer.”
Other key findings include:
• The dominant home automation business model will not veer towards subscriptions until sufficient hardware is in place to build smart services on top.
• Major smart home players looking to reach the global market are failing to address local market demands, hampering their progress.