Smart Industry 1/2019

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Smart Lifestyle Connected Homes

Connected Homes

Almost There

The smart home industry continues to evolve along the lines of connectivity

and interoperability but many challenges remain.

As the industry moves from closed to open ecosystems, business

models will be freed up and continue to grow rapidly.

n By Thomas Rockmann

It has been an exciting few years

in the world of the smart home

and IoT. Not only has the industry

innovated technologically,

it has evolved significantly to offer

an enhanced range of entry models

for enterprises and delivers better

consumer value and recognition in

the marketplace. From the many

evolutionary strands visible today, it

is possible to extrapolate the shape

and trajectory of the smart home

market overall.

As predicted several years ago, there

has been fierce competitive pressure

in the smart home market and consolidation

has been rife. However,

the result has been positive and can

be summarized very simply – overall

growth.

We have seen enormous increases in

market awareness among consumers,

as well as penetration of devices

into homes and businesses across

the globe. Various key drivers have

also emerged and a recent report

from analyst firm Juniper Research

predicts that increasing smart home

security adoption will drive global

home automation, delivering revenues

from an estimated $12 billion

in 2018 to more than $45 billion by

2023, a significant growth rate of

more than 260 percent over the forecast

period.

New open

ecosystems

will accelerate

growth and

create strong

demand.

Thomas Rockmann,

VP Connected Home at

Deutsche Telekom.

The researchers also singled out the

value of the open ecosystem in this

predicted growth, stating that the

open ecosystem will rapidly accelerate

growth, reaching a billion automation

and monitoring devices by

2023, up from 176 million in 2018.

One additional reason is the relative

success and strong demand for AIpowered

smart speakers, particularly

those that combine an inclusive ecosystem

with an attractive price point

– a redoubtable combination.

The popularity of artificial intelligence

digital assistants is certainly

booming, with a recent Gartner report

predicting that 25 percent of

households will use them as the primary

interface for connected home

services by next year. Major technology

players are pursuing voice control

and, currently, AI assistants serve

two specific purposes: semantic assistance,

by using AI to recognize not

only the words or phrases, but also

the context; and bridging the gaps

between devices, services, and products,

which is where the smart home

market really benefits.

By blending devices and services

from multiple sources, accessed via

the AI overlay, consumers are divorced

from the intricacies of technology

and freed up to live their

lives. One example is in leveraging AI

for ambient-assisted living purposes,

where the network of smart speakers

in an average home can be activated

by the user simply by saying “Emergency,”

which triggers a confirmation

response. If the response is affirmative,

the service sends a preconfigured

message to nominated people.

These recipients can then “drop in” to

activate two-way communications

with the speaker – an immediate

voice link to enable the correct help

to be delivered as quickly as possible.

The move from closed to open ecosystems

is being driven by a host of

variables, including a rapidly broadening

range of business models.

Pay-monthly, subscription-based

services are a familiar concept, as

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