Smart home market to grow to 640 million devices in 2018

According to a new study, the global smart home market will grow by almost a third in 2018 compared to the previous year. This means that the various manufacturers in the sector will have sold over 640 million smart devices. In four years, annual sales will have reached as many as 1.3 billion devices. Voice control in particular is enjoying growing popularity among users.

The Smart Home Device Tracker produced by market research company IDC shows that the global smart home market is expected to grow by 31 percent in 2018, with total sales of 643.9 million smart home devices. Based on an average annual growth rate of over 20 percent, as many as 1.3 billion smart devices are expected to make their way into households in 2022. That would mean that on average every sixth person, regardless of age, would own a smart home device.

According to market researchers, smart speakers such as the Amazon Echo or Google Home are the fastest-growing category, with a five-year growth rate of 39.1 per cent. While the record of 100 million devices was broken this year, forecasts indicate that as many as 230 million smart speakers will pass over (virtual) shop counters in four years. Smart lighting, thermostats, door intercoms and security systems are also becoming increasingly popular.

Amazon Echo, Google Assistant and ULE-based products boosting growth on the market

Due to the enormous growth rate, smart speakers are set to be the third-largest segment on the smart home market as early as 2022. An ever-growing number of suppliers are developing products that are compatible with Amazon’s Alexa or Google Assistant. Voice assistants such as Siri, Cortana and Bixby are also enjoying increasing popularity. There are also additional solutions that allow for speech-based smart home applications, e.g. voice commands can be transmitted using the Ultra-Low Energy (ULE) wireless standard, meaning that the smart home can finally be controlled by voice command. The advantages of ULE include the fact that the standard is considered particularly secure and that smart home products certified by the ULE Alliance or based on the HAN FUN protocol can be combined regardless of their manufacturers. Panasonic, Deutsche Telekom and AVM with their FRITZ! range are amongst those companies that already offer ULE-based smart plugs, motion detectors, wall switches, door/window sensors and other smart home products.

“Many new types of devices, both inside and outside the home, now include built-in voice assistants,” says Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst for IDC Mobile Device Trackers. “Not only do these help to increase the number of touch points available to end users, but it also helps each assistant to grow by expanding reach and gaining a deeper understanding of what, when, and how users approach various tasks.”

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