The smart home is in a constant state of change. Home automation is no longer the stuff of science fiction. In the recent survey smart home market size trends and projections suggest this is no passing fad. Ubiquitous home automation via IoT and M2M is our future.
Few years ago, there was a global installed base of only 4 million smart home devices such as garage door operators, electronic locks, thermostats, light bulbs and appliances. Today, the installed base of smart home devices is estimated to be around 165 million devices worldwide. The Smart Homes market is fast evolving in the Indian context. Initially Smart Homes were marketed primarily as homes with advanced security features. It is estimated that the Smart Homes solutions market in India is growing in India at a rate of 30 percent YOY. At this rate, the market will double in revenue every 3 years. The market is therefore, likely to explode over the next few years.
But Despite this rapid increase in devices, the smart home market remains fragmented and there are many questions that still need to be answered.
We talked to leading vendors and solution providers in India to know how this market is behaving and what the road ahead in India.
A smart home, or smart house, is a home that incorporates advanced automation systems to provide the inhabitants with sophisticated monitoring and control over the building’s functions. For example a smart home may control lighting, temperature, multi-media, security, window and door operations, as well as many other functions.
How the smart home market is evolving in India?
According to Mr. Thanik B of Schneider Electric the concept of Smart Homes, just like Smart Cities, is steadily gaining ground in India. In fact, it is only in the last few years that the idea of digital homes has picked up among urban homes. Thanks to leaps in technology and price affordability, automation in homes is a reality now and is also economically more acceptable. Initially, Smart Homes were being marketed primarily as houses with high-end security features. But, the market is now evolving into newer areas like lighting systems, gas leakage detectors, smoke alarm systems, entertainment systems and energy efficiency systems. Therefore, Smart Homes, apart from providing better security, conveniences and comfort to the resident, also provide significant energy savings.
Mr. Kuldeep Malik, Country Head – Corporate Sales International, MediaTek India believes that with rapid urbanisation, and the government’s drive towards smart cities, it is apparent that there will be huge technical upgrades required for infrastructure. We are already noticing that this shift is coming along with a growing demand to adopt smart-home technology among the urbanites. Smart home technology products aim to incorporate comfort, entertainment, mobility and security, providing consumers with connected solutions all the time. The rise of the DINKs (Double Income No Kids), DISKs (Double Income Single Kid), changing lifestyles and high income are expected to make smart technology a standard ‘home’ feature as families want to ensure they are always connected to their homes. Another aspect driving the smart-home trends is the growth in broadband penetration, which has been totally overshadowed by wireless broadband growth in India.
In a few years we are expecting a huge shift in the wired broadband as fiber is going to take over from the traditional copper-based network, and service providers will bring in a complete package that will include contents and deliveries with attractive offers. Some of the recently launched residential projects have already starting offering smart home packages – this trend will continue to get technically upgraded and demand will drive affordability, making ‘smart’ features imperatives of urban homes.
The rise of smart and connected things allow companies to compete not only on functionality and performance aspects of their products and services, but also on the information created by the use of them. Sensor technologies make things ‘smart’, being a part of IoT devices. Smart home technology products aim to incorporate comfort, entertainment, mobility and security, making solutions more convenient for them. The array of products include controlled lighting, heating and other electronic appliances and household goods such as the AC. All of them can be remotely controlled from your own device (smartphone or tablet).
“We are in very early stage of smart home market creation in India. Creation of new markets is fundamentally slow process. However strong indications can be seen which suggest that this is going to be a hockey stick market. We are at similar stage where we were 15 years ago in mobile phone market. In 2002, mobile phone was considered a luxury purchase with limited market penetration. By 2012, rapid and transformative evolution of mobile phone made it one of the most lucrative markets. Smart home market is expected to see similar growth in next 10 years. Amazon, Google, Apple and numerous other companies like ours all are trying to find the iPhone equivalent product of this market which will provide it sudden impetus. One thing to notice is that home lifestyle of Indian homes is substantially different from US homes. Hence I feel, the iPhone for this smart-home market in India will not come from a US company but will emerge from an Indian company” said Shishir Gupta, CEO, Oakter.
Mr. Manikant Jain, CEO of Yerha.com shares that “the concept of smart homes brings those vivid memories of science fiction movies alive when we envisioned ourselves in automated living environments. Home automation has been a lifelong dream of researchers, which has become today’s reality. It is technology that allows for maximum comfort and convenience by seamlessly connecting home devices. The rate of evolution of this market is rapid in India. The main magnetism behind this is the efficiency and the synchronization of the different home appliances with each other. With this evolution, Yerha.com brings ample of advanced technology products your way”.
According to Pulak Satish Kumar, Head of Business Development, Puresight Systems. “The Smart home market is an evolving market in India. We are already witnessing the use of smart devices like smart lighting, smart entertainment systems and home service robots like iRobot’s floor cleaning products. We are witnessing growth in sales, which is a good indicator of how well these products are being received in the market. This is an evolving market and the future is technology based smart homes. Technologies like IOT and M2M are enabling smart devices to be networked. This is making things simple and empowering customers to use their time more effectively”.
Who will be the smart home market driver?
“Increasing awareness of Smart Homes among users is a key growth driver. The awareness is high in metros but slightly lower in non-metros. The biggest contribution to generating this awareness is currently being made by builders. Customers are becoming aware of Smart Homes by way of seeing model flats, seeing brochures that builders put together showcasing Smart Homes. Apart from builders, another key source of awareness generation for Smart Homes has been the internet. Opting for Smart Homes will be one of the best ways for individuals, institutions and corporate entities to contribute their mite in saving the Earth from the perilous consequences of global warming – while making life easier, comfortable and convenient for everyone” said Mr.Thanik of Schneider Electric.
According to Mr. Malik increase in disposable income is the primary factor that has enabled people to consider IoT-based devices to make their homes ‘smart’. Since, smart home appliances can be controlled using a smartphone and provide convenient ease of access and use, lot of IT companies which focus on IoT-based devices are entering the smart-homes market with innovative products.
Other key drivers are: Infrastructure, Fiber broadband, Local content, Monetization of content (to bring money for content creators/providers), Interoperability (all devices can smoothly sync with one another), Affordability, Availability (online as well as offline channels).
According to Shishir there will be 4 categories of market drivers ,Technology leader companies like Amazon, Google & Apple, Smart home products manufacturing companies like Ring, Xiaomi & Oakter, Internet service provider companies like Jio, Airtel and Tata telecommunications and Home Appliance manufacturing companies like V-Guard, Onida and Carrier.
“The rapid growth of home automation or smart homes is because of some major driving forces like stable economic development, rising urbanization, employment opportunities, better standards of living and the growing demand for lifestyle products. People are so much occupied in their life’s that they want Technology or gadgets to smoothen their life” adds Mr.Jain.
Satish Kumar of Puresight Systems said that the smart home market is being driven by dynamic technological advancements. For example, IOT (Internet of Things) and M2M (Machine to Machine) is helping devices to be networked and integrated with each other.
What are the options for managing a smart home? Area of growth for connected home?
According to Thanik B in India, the concept of smart homes is being integrated with that of green homes. Developers are trying to make homes intelligent enough to distinguish between family members and guests within physical spaces and adapt to individual needs based on biometrics like fingerprints. Developers have recognized the dire need for a smart home, green homes and their benefits in an environment struggling with air, traffic, heat and noise pollution. While we have to rely on the administration to take care of our outdoor living conditions, we can at least control our home environment to create a better living condition. People are seeing social as well as financial benefits from sustainability factors. They now demand a house which is sustainable, energy efficient and eco-friendly.
Smart homes use a standard Wi-Fi connectivity to manage devices; but having a mesh of Wi-Fi access points provides an easy-to-administer system. It’s the Internet of Things (IoT) that takes home automation to the next level by allowing devices to communicate and send information. And yes, Yerha has all such products in its palette enough to provide you the better living and easy accessing. From big and small devices like Klickr, EMOI Bluetooth speaker to those intricate technological devices like Swissvoice, IMCO watch and Voice Bridge will continue to rule the market. And are enough to make your home a Smart one said Manikant Jain.
Today, we have a lot of devices such as smartphones and wearables with which we can manage a smart phone. Sitting far away from your home, you can not only ensure safety and security for your loved ones but also control various electronic appliances such as AC, TV etc. MediaTek, through its R&D efforts and constant technology advancements, continues to deliver technology to enrich and enhance everyday life. MediaTek is always on the lookout to collaborate in order to support the ecosystem, while offering smart and sustainable chipset solutions for the latest products. Recently, two leading brands announced the launch of advanced devices in association with PiOctave and Chainway at the 3rd Smart Cities India 2017 Expo held in New Delhi. The futuristic IoT devices include a video doorbell from PiOctave, while the Chainway device is designed for the healthcare industry. The products will benefit private as well as government companies, hospitals and the general public as a whole. As per updates available, these products will be available to the mass marked by Q3 said Mr. Malik.
Mr. Kumar shares “A smart home consists of devices and appliances, which can be controlled with apps, gestures and are integrated in the system. These can be networked and multiple devices can be controlled with the help of personal assistant devices like Alexa, Google Home and HomePod. So managing the smart home is becoming much easier. The growth for connected devices is humongous. Smart devices like TV, Music Systems, Lighting and iRobot Roomba & Braava Jet, etc., all can be connected and operated easily”.
What are the barriers to connected product purchase, is it price or evolving technology?
Our main idea with respect to Smart Homes would be to make evolving technology available to customers at an affordable price. Solutions are fully Scalable. These solutions can be implemented to new homes and existing homes with required changes as needed.
Every household has a specific set of requirements and hence, the smart home installations need to be customized to meet individual requirements. This will ensure most efficient and cost effective network. Therefore, we can say that smart homes work on the concept of synchronisation and customization. With new technologies and devices being customised to be connected to the Internet of Things, Smart Homes’ trends are bound to scale new heights in innovation, efficiency and lower costs said Mr.Thanik B.
I don’t think technology or price is barriers to connected product purchase. It’s the real value proposition for the customer and creating awareness about that value proposition said Shishir Gupta of Oakter.
The ever-evolving landscape of technology has led to the availability of various new gadgets and systems in the market, giving options to consumers to choose from. Smart homes have become a standard concept and smart devices highly essential equipments. For consumers choosing the good quality or the high end product can be more long lasting than the low end product. But, when it actually comes to buying a product, price remains the main concern. Although there are consumers who stick to ‘loyalty’, the ‘attractive product deals’ pulls the crowd, leaving only a few for their preferred brand shares Mr. Satish Kumar.
Mr. Malik said that internet has changed the telecom landscape, especially with IoT revolution. As per GSM Association, the machine-to-machine (M2M) market is expected to reach $4.5 trillion by 2020. The widening scope of IoT is seen in sectors such as healthcare, education, auto, agriculture, security, surveillance etc They are not shying away from spending considerable amounts provided the solutions help raise the security-and-safety bar of their personal space and surroundings at large.
The barriers to connected product purchase can be the premium price to some extent. But this will be shortlived. People have welcomed technology with open hands and today IoT-based technology is used across sectors, including health and fitness and transport. As these solutions become part of every-day life, prices are sure to ease, thus speeding up connected products’ purchase and adoption.
The growing significance of intelligent devices to enable consumers to get remote access and control over their homes has resulted in the growth of the smart home industry. The market players from the Americas, Europe, and APAC are significantly investing in different segments of the smart home industry including hardware, technology, software, and service segments. And smart home industry has witnessed a considerable number of new product launches, partnerships, and agreements carried out by the market players will lead to many new avenues. In India, the market for smart homes has been growing steadily. Every year, the uptake of smart homes in India is increasing by between 15-18 per cent in tier 1 cities and by between 5-10 per cent in tier 2 and tier 3 cities.