Smart home and automation are often mistaken to be the same thing when it comes to talking about home automation solutions, however there is a classic difference that people often overlook. Google Assistant, Siri, Amazon’s Alexa are all smart home assistants but none of them are remotely close to what home automation exactly means. In fact, they are exactly opposite of the whole concept of automation and that is very counterproductive for this technology which is increasingly gaining popularity over developed and developing nations of the world.
Could this be the reason for the disappointing adoption rate of the global smart home market? If you look at the basic construct of these smart assistants, then you’ll notice that they are actually not smart. The assistants require us to give them specific instructions to perform tasks. Like Alexa, can you play this… etc. A real smart assistant will not only do what is told but will also be able to perform tasks when needed like switch off the lights when people leave rooms. These tasks which actually wasted energy and can lead to significant savings if automated are something these smart assistants just cannot do. Then why call them smart? At best these are applications which are good at following orders, but no home became smart by following instructions.
While some may argue that making applications smart may have a dangerous impact as well. Like applications may lock you in the room while they run a havoc around the house. No, a real smart home is where sensors can gauge the need of the home and also the needs of the family and then act. This is truly automation in the real sense. While the global smart home market comprises of these home automation tools, but if you understand them at a deeper level then none of the applications are truly automated. Then why do we still believe that a smart home is indeed a smart home? Well that’s a question one must ask the big players operating in this industry who are coming up with products that are semi smart at best but cost a bomb.
As per a market research report by market intelligence firm, Research on Global Markets, the global smart home market is expected to reach a value of USD 151 Bn by the year 2023 starting the year 2018. Through this course of five years, the market is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24.6% year on year. This growth is attributed to convenience, safety, and growing need for connectivity. In fact, recently Ikea announced it will be bringing in more smart home devices in its 700+ stores across the world. Until now, smart lights and wireless charging lamps were the brands smart home device catalogue, but now with this announcement it is clear that the company is in for more and more smart home products which goes on to indicate the growing number of consumers who are exploring these products and buying them as well. While one still needs to wait and watch as this domain is already being occupied by tech companies like Philips and Samsung and if Ikea will be able to compete with these brands in selling smart home products.