Smart homes coming of age

In a recent study, Berg Insight predicted the number of smart homes in North America would surpass homes without smart devices within the next few years.

More than half (55%) of all homes are expected to be equipped with the ability to control lighting, heating and electronic devices via smartphone app or web portal, according to the study.

Andrew Frick, senior analyst at Berg Insight, anticipated smart home systems becoming more popular this year.

“Entry-level smart home systems have become affordable for the mass market at the same time as the reliability and features have improved significantly,” said Frick.

Last year, 22 million households activated a smart home system in North America. From those households, 31 million smart home systems were in use. The majority of households used either a single or multiple systems for a single function use. The study logged 26 million single function systems in use last year. Five million of the systems were whole-home systems.

The study projected the North American smart home market to grow from the $10 billion generated last year to a $27 billion industry with 73 million smart homes in 2021.

Smart thermostats, connected security systems, smart lights and connected speaker systems are among the most popular single-device smart home systems. Most smart home systems users control their devices through a smartphone app. However, Frick anticipated the user interface of choice to shift toward voice control in the future.

“Several information and communication technology industry giants are now betting on voice driven user interfaces to make it easier to control smart home solutions,” Frick said.

He cited Amazon, Google and Apple as leading players in the pursuit of voice control interfaces.

Although Europe only accounted for 9 million smart homes last year, Berg Insight expects Europe to lead North America in 2021. The study anticipates Europe to record more than 80 million smart homes in five years.