Why it’s better for the UK if America pioneers the trend for Smart Homes
We’ve come across some worrying news about the smart home market recently when it comes to US consumer demand for smart homes and the barriers to widespread adoption. It seems that the smart home market is stuck in the doldrums right now as it struggles to pass the early adopter stage and move on to the mass market adoption phase. Several barriers which prevent mass market adoption have been identified, including:
The high price of devices
Long device replacement cycles
Limited consumer demand (at present)
Smart home devices are expensive and when this fact is combined with limited consumer demand and the long device replacement cycles, it will be quite a task for the smart home market to move from the early adopter stage to the mass market stage. It’s likely that mass market consumers will wait until a device is broken before replacing it, unlike early adopters who rush to upgrade to the latest technology as soon as it’s released. Mass market consumers are also highly likely to compare a non-connected product with a connected product in order to determine whether the benefits offered are worth the extra money involved in the purchase.
However, it seems that the largest barrier to mass market adoption is the technological fragmentation of the smart home ecosystem which means that consumers need multiple networking devices, apps and more to build and run their smart home so that everything functions efficiently and effectively. At the moment there are so many different networks, standards and devices being used to connect the smart home that it’s resulting in inoperability problems. This means that a smart home network is confusing and it’s quite a challenge for the average consumer to set up and control multiple devices. Until the interoperability challenge has been conquered, potential consumers will find it difficult to choose smart home devices and systems to suit their individual needs.
A closed ecosystem is the short term solution that will address the problem of technological fragmentation. Closed ecosystems are composed of devices that are compatible with each other and which can all be controlled via a single point.
Despite this, smart home devices are on the increase throughout the USA where they are defined as any stand-alone object in the house that connects to the internet, can be controlled or monitored from a remote location and has a noncompeting primary function. Multiple smart home devices within a single home coming to form the basis of a smart home ecosystem.
As we all know, where America leads, the UK usually follows and, as smart homes become more common in the US, we’re likely to see more of them in Britain. With America leading the way in smart home technology, it means that most of the teething problems will have been overcome by the time the UK market is really ready to adopt smart homes. That’s good news for us here as by the time we’re ready to think about smart homes, they’re likely to be more efficient and easier to establish.