At Home with Smart Homes
April 15, 2019, 2019
The above scenario is not sci-fi, it is now. Much of the technology described above is available now or soon will be. The smart home technology market will be worth $151 billion by 2024. The market is being driven by the ubiquitous Internet of Things (IoT), smart devices like watches and health wearables, and voice assistants like Amazon Echo - Juniper Research predicting that by 2023, 8 billion voice assistants will be used by consumers.
Are Our Homes Getting Smarter?
Some of the best-known smart home technologies include:
Digital assistants/smart speakers - Ask and you shall get, is the mantra of the digital assistant. The device is an artificial intelligence-based system that plays music, does various online tasks, and connects to other smart devices. The most popular of the digital assistants is the Amazon Echo (aka “Alexa”) holding 35.6% of the market in Q4, 2018. Google Home comes in at second most popular, with almost 30% of the market. Overall, smart speaker sales increased by 70% in Q4 of 2018.
Smart meters - A smart meter records your energy consumption and passes these data to your energy supplier. In theory, a smart meter can help to optimize energy usage across a country and reduce consumer bills. Countries such as the UK, South Korea, U.S. and Japan have introduced regulations to ensure that smart meters will have 100% uptake.
Smart beds - Just when you thought it was safe to go back to sleep, smart beds were introduced. A smart mattress keeps track of your sleep including, how often you turn over, your preferred sleep position, your heart-rate, sleep-cycles, etc. Some beds also link to your heating system to adjust the temperature, or to digital assistants to adjust lighting, open curtains, and provide wake-up calls. The market for smart beds is expected to reach $4.8 billion by 2024.