Nowadays, the sales of energy-saving equipment and “smart speakers” are growing at a record-breaking rate, which also promotes the rapid development of the high-tech market. However, due to the lack of digital skills and inconsistent service levels, there are still many obstacles to the development of the smart home market.
Fingerprint lock, web security camera, smart light bulb, smart washing machine… Technology is changing our daily family life, and has turned yesterday’s technology dream into reality.
Consulting firm Gartner predicts that with the spread of smart technology, by 2022, a typical family home may contain more than 500 smart items. Smart homes will be a rapidly growing field for the next decade and will offer many innovative digital opportunities for companies that can adapt their products and services to take advantage of this emerging industry.
North America is still the main market for smart technology, but Europe is catching up. According to market researcher Berg Insight, by the end of 2017, the number of households with so-called Internet of Things (IoT) equipment in Europe reached 22.5 million. It is expected that by the end of 2022, the booming industry will grow to 84 million European households, with a market penetration rate of 35% and a total of 13.3 billion euros in Europe in a few years.
According to Giulio Salvadori of the Polytechnic University of Milan, Germany, the United Kingdom and France are the major countries in the European smart home market, followed by Italy and Spain.
It is expected that by the end of 2025, the global smart home tools and services market will generate an opportunity worth 85 billion euros. As the price of sensors and processors declines, energy-efficient home automation is becoming more popular in urban homes. Intelligent thermostats are one of the most popular tools, and the number of houses equipped with these thermostats in the EU will increase from 4 million in 2017 to 22 million in 2020.
The EU Research Fund is stimulating and following market trends in the industry. In Spain, Mondragon University is a member of the CITyFiED project organization, which focuses on energy efficiency in residential buildings and has developed an application for collecting data on residential water, electricity and heating applications for apartments.
This is an ICT solution that helps raise residents’ awareness of energy efficiency. The app provides information about energy consumption, as well as advice on when to use the device best, or advice on when to turn it off.
Felix Larrinaga, professor of electronics and computing at Mondragon University, explained: “This process involves different disciplines, including design departments, ICT architecture and database experts, software developers and energy experts. Residents of the pilot project conducted several workshops and tests to measure user acceptance of the proposed solution and shared these experiences with other pilot cities, including Soma in Turkey and Lund in Sweden, and partners in all projects. “
More than 22 million smart homes in Europe
In Italy, Politecnico di Milano estimates that using smart devices for heating can save up to 28% for families with children. energy. “The widespread adoption of smart heating solutions, such as the reduction of CO2 emissions by more than 54,000 tons per year in the city of Milan, has a positive impact on the environment and saves citizens 70 million euros a year,” said Giulio Salvadori.
However, the mere existence of intelligent technology does not guarantee that it will lead to a change in user behavior. Salvadori added: “Only 15% of consumers who purchase smart devices often use the smart features of their devices. Consumer choices depend more on the general functionality of the device than on smart features.”
In the Politecnico di Milano study of the Italian and European smart home markets, the lack of digital capabilities of consumers is considered one of the obstacles to market development. Seventy percent of consumers require professionals to assist in the installation of equipment, even if the equipment is designed to be installed by the consumer as much as possible. In addition, other barriers include lack of services, often limited to the management of cloud data, and the lack of compatibility between different smart devices.
“Consumers need to better understand the added value of device intelligence,” Salvadori explained. “However, from the growth of global smart speakers from 8 million in 2016 to 56 million in 2018, the market’s future possibilities are already obvious, with Amazon Alexa and Google Home leading the industry.”
The two network giants hope to increase their leadership in this area, focusing on services related to their core business. Amazon Echo and Alexa help users shop online, while Google Home provides information from real-time weather to sports events. Smart speakers are increasingly being developed for better interoperability with home smart appliances such as lights and heating systems.
According to this research, Amazon Echo and Alexa can “talk” to more than 20,000 devices from 1,200 different brands. Google is catching up, its smart assistant is now available in 30 languages and can be used in 80 countries.
Experts at the Forbes Technical Committee agree that the industry must develop better cross-compatibility standards to enable devices to work together better. Security technology expert Tyler Shields said: “The voice control of the technology contained in mobile phones, televisions, home audio and even car dashboards will be a very popular application in the future.”And “breakthrough progress in the future will really make these technologies ubiquitous.”
(Shenyang Building Materials Network provides) <
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