The billionaire market of smart homes

By bringing solutions to innovate in the control and command of home devices, tech companies are surfing in a new, profitable and fast growing market.

A battle between tech giants to get inside your house

Making homes smarter is a growing trend. Being able to turn on the TV with a hand gesture, the lights off by a voice command or getting images and messages from your doorbell are just some of the several possibilities of home solutions already available in the market.

Amazon invested $1 bi to buy ‘Ring’ a smart doorbell

« We’re still in the early days. It’s going to be even more convenient, even more simple, even more magical than what you see today », said Dave Limp, head of Amazon’s devices and services.

Last April, Amazon invested 1 billion dollars to buy ‘Ring’, a company that produces special doorbells. The equipment offers security cameras connected to the owners smartphones and sends alerts anytime there is a movement close to the house. Using a special app, it is possible to speak through the doorbell and even start an alarm to scare possible robbers.

Massive investments in the smart home area are justified by a visible user interest in those solutions. Only in 2017, this market reached 35,7 billions of dollars and it is expected to grow up to 150 billions by 2023.

And because it is such a lucrative market, the competition between developers has also intensified. According to a report published by the Boston Consulting Group, the most aggressive investors in smart-home technologies nowadays are Amazon, Samsung, and Google. On top of the users wishes are: security and safety systems, followed by audiovisual, smart energy and lighting.

When it comes to smart speakers, for example, Amazon is the leader, with 70% of this market share. Google comes second with 24% and Apple in third place, with 6%. Specialists evaluate that those companies have one thing in common: the fact they recognized smart speakers and digital assistants as a control point for the smart-home ecosystem. Those equipment tend to connect all the other gadgets in a house, working as a central command for other functionalities. It means that once a user decides for a system, he will invest in different gadgets accessed by this technology.

But of course, new technologies are susceptible to errors and hackers may always come up with a joke to show the flaws in the system. Last march, the home assistant from Amazon, called Alexa, scared many customers by starting to laugh without any command.

Technological problems and risks

It seems very clear that the development of the smart home industry is focused on making life as easy and practical as possible. Also, that there is an intense competition between big tech companies and high investments in this field. It should be everyday more common having robots to vacuum the house in a specific date and time, smart assistants to ring an alarm in the morning and read the daily activities from the online personal calendar. It is possible though, that users still have to face similar problems and concerns about their privacy and data collection as experienced during the use of those big technological platforms. Non mentioning the risks of further hackers invasions in the system, that may have worse effects than the scary laugh given by Alexa.

Sources:
https://www.compelo.com/smart-device-trends-2019/
https://www.bcg.com/publications/2018/mapping-smart-home-market.aspx
https://www.cnet.com/news/amazon-key-and-ring-may-become-your-new-smart-home-bffs/
https://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2018/3/7/17092334/amazon-alexa-devices-strange-laughter
https://www.androidauthority.com/what-is-a-smart-home-806483/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIEIGDsbKqY

Author: Julia Cunha B. S.