What is the future scope of home automation?
Home automation solutions are some of the most sought-after services in the world in the consumer markets. The demand for home automation solutions is much more pronounced in the developed economies than the emerging ones, but the latter is catching up to the competition. Automation solutions are constantly evolving these days in terms of efficiency, ability, and overall performance.
The global market for home automation has been segmented on the basis of application into entertainment in the form of home video and audio, HVAC or heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning, security and safety, lighting, robotics, and healthcare, among others. These application employ home automation intensely as they are preferred to be controlled automatically by the homeowners. Homeowners are exhibiting a particular affection for HVAC systems as the demand for this is expected to rise in the coming years owing to the demand for these systems from automated and high-end homeowners.
According to a Research analyst, The global market for home automation is expected to witness an outstanding 26.3% CAGR form 2014 to 2020. The market has been projected to rise from a valuation of US$4.41 bn in 2013 to a worth US$21.6 bn by the end of 2020. The global market for home automation has been segmented on the basis of application into entertainment in the form of home video and audio, HVAC or heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning, security and safety, lighting, robotics, and healthcare, among others.
Home Automation Market: By application
- Safety and security
- HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air-Conditioning)
- Entertainment (Home audio and video)
- Others(Robotics, heath care)
Home Automation Market: By networking technology
- Wired home automation systems
- Power-line home automation systems
- Computing network home automation systems
- Wireless home automation systems
Home Automation Market: By type
- Luxury (custom) home automation systems
- Mainstream home automation systems
- DIY (Do It Yourself) home automation systems
- Managed home automation services
Growth in Automation Market in India (2018-22)
The next phase for the Home automation market will occur based on a few key improvements in the technology available in Automation, such as improvement in Wireless Automation solutions as well as lowering of price points as the market begins to accept Home automation usage in larger volumes. Some trends that we foresee for this phase of the industry are
• Big companies like Philips, Siemens & Schneider will eventually bring out fairly mass market automation products with appealing user interface but at a lower price point than today, and more people will be able to afford the products
• Solution offerings will slowly move to a more user friendly design, where aside from a few key components, users will be able to buy and use the Automation products themselves without the aid of any technical expert
• Some foreign players will have niche in high end automation and focus on the premium market (>20 Lakh ticket size).
Commodification of Automation market (2021 onward)
As with any industry, as Automation for residences become common place, the market will eventually be crowded with several players, multiple product offerings and competitive pricing. The market for just Home automation is estimated to be 3.2$ Billion by 2020. If IoT were to become common place, then we’re looking at a multi-billion dollar opportunity in the Indian market.
- We foresee that all major players will have a presence leading to competition in prices and lower margins
- The products themselves will reach a ‘plug and play’ type of usability, where users can simply purchase pieces from the store and use it themselves without any support from professionals
- Many (most) houses will incorporate some aspect of Automation in the home, from Lighting, security or HVAC elements. Home Automation will be as commonplace as having a Fridge or Television in the house.
To me personally, the connected home is every boy’s fantasy… the physical world, and more specifically one’s house reacting to your unique needs and preferences- providing a contextual, relevant and a very targeted experience. What seemed like a pipe dream is now becoming a very tangible reality; largely thanks to hardware becoming more affordable, wireless connectivity ubiquitous, and applications and their business logic platform available and open.
However, despite my Man Cave’s lights turning blue everytime India ( color of our team’s jersey) plays a cricket match, or Alexa controlling the flow of music in the entire house or I having the ability to open my garage door and the main door in my house through my phone…I am not a very satisfied customer of “Home Automation” yet. It is cool, it is leaps and bounds ahead of where we were a couple of years back but its just not there yet.
What do I mean by it?
#1. Smart but not connected (to each other)
Today, I have over 20products in my house. Each with a very unique user experience. However, most of them do not talk to each other. So here i am logging into 20 different devices and creating a profile for each one of them…ensuring they understand what I like and do not. All of my 20 devices are “Smart” ie connect to the internet but do not have a conscience or ability to learn and evolve from their individual or combined experience with me, as a end customer.
#2. Little to no technical inter-operability
To be honest, the connected ecosystem is quite confusing. The market is overcrowded, products are often sold piece meal and there are a plethora of choices on technology- with no clear winner. A lot of people find out the hard way, including yours truly, that they have invested $400-500 in a proprietary technology or a hub which has limited to no inter-operability with other expensive goodies. So now i have 4 different hubs in my house and the irony is that none of them is a true hub apart from their siloed service.
#3 Lack of focus on user interaction
Today, with such a huge amount of competition- not many companies are venturing into producing devices or products for the entire home. The battle is for every room, the kitchen, the bedroom, the backyard and so on and so forth. Most companies are so entrenched in getting the technology right that they have missed the real opportunity lies in providing a new interface to communicate with the user. Take a bow Amazon, Alexa was a masterclass
With a toaster (or a few of them) being a the heart of DDoS attack a few months back, it just brings out the fact that there needs to be a lot more emphasis in ensuring the security of our collective houses.
From a personal perspective what really gets me excited is when my plants text me that they need to be watered.…my house tweets whenever there is a knock on the door, along with a photograph of the person at the door (for my records). Its a fascinating fascinating world that we are beginning to be a part of; and we are just starting to scratch the surface.
AI, ML,, …when they come together not only will we have more iconic products but real iconic experiences, and that’s what I hope the future of home automation is.