Increasing carbon emissions and growing need for conserving energy and protecting the environment are some of the global challenges that need attention. In various regions, the governments are focusing on addressing these issues by carrying out various initiatives and offering subsidies for projects that promote smarter and energy-efficient homes. Daily household tasks, such as the use of heaters and washers, account for nearly 18% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions.
With the evolution of smart home concept, homes are made greener and smarter, due to which unnecessary expending of energy from homes is avoided. This has enabled various regions to reduce the challenges for improved machine-to-machine (M2M) communication.
Smart home automation makes use of the IoT technology that integrates objects with the internet, establishing multiple links with a common point that can be controlled by the user. The designed system not only helps in examining the sensor data concerning light, temperature, motion, and gas but also stimulates a process according to the condition, for example, switching on the light when it gets dark.
According to Grand View Research, the global smart home automation is anticipated to reach USD 130.0 billion by 2025. The growing demand for smart home automation can be attributed to the rising demand among individuals for convenience, connectivity, and security.
Innovations and Technological Advancements
The increased demand for smartphone-based apps for smart home automation, technological advancements, urbanization, change in lifestyle, fast mobile connectivity, increased consumer awareness about energy-consuming products, and convenience are the most significant factors driving the growth of the smart home automation market.
From leading technology companies such as Google and Apple to startups, businesses are looking at automated homes as the next big opportunity after laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Android Things, also known as Brillo, is an Android-based embedded operating system launched by Google in 2015. This system is intended for use with memory-constrained and low-power IoT devices that are built with different microcontroller unit platforms.
Voice control is expected to be the next most promising feature to be integrated with smart home automation technology. Envisaging huge potential for the future, some of the leading firms are significantly involved in the development of voice assistant functions and installing them in their products. Apple has added its voice assistant, Siri, to smartphones and smart systems; Google Assistant powers Google Home; and Amazon has also added Alexa to its Echo lineup which is a hands-free and voice-controlled smart device.
The Regional Trends
North America dominated the smart home automation market in 2017 and is anticipated to continue its dominance over the forecast period. This growth can be attributed to a large consumer base coupled with well-established manufacturers in the region. With the rising number of firms competing for smart home consumers, smart home solutions are becoming more affordable.
Asia Pacific is witnessing the most significant penetration of smart home solutions and possesses greater growth opportunities for companies considering long-term investments. Growing economies such as India, China, Japan, and South Korea have contributed in significantly boosting the growth of the regional market. Moreover, the growing upper and middle-class population is another factor driving the growth of the market.
Japan’s demand for smart home solutions is expected to surge over the projected period owing to the rising adoption of renewable energy programs and government initiatives for infrastructure support. To promote the adoption of the smart home concept the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI), a ministry of the Government of Japan, has introduced a number of policies, such as subsidy to support the introduction of household fuel cells and support for the introduction of stationary lithium-ion storage batteries.
Furthermore, the South Korean market is also anticipated to witness promising growth owing to the rising government investments in smart city projects. The government is making prominent efforts to increase initiatives in areas such as environment, energy, security, and transport system.
As the smart home technology has been making improvements in home energy efficiency, some government initiatives have been carried out in Japan.
Trends and Initiatives by the Japanese Government
The government of Japan has undertaken various measures to promote energy conservation in the household sector. For instance, the government introduced Home Energy Management System (HEMS) technologies. HEMS provides users with information about energy consumption as well as prompts them to reduce their consumption. The government believes that the market of HEMS devices will witness a significant boost if the necessary communication technologies are established in an appropriate time frame.
In April 2016, a report on Japan’s energy situation for the financial year 2014 was released by the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy, a part of METI. The report revealed that since the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, energy consumption has continually decreased in all the three sectors of the region, namely transportation, household, and industrial. In the case of household sector, energy consumption has decreased by 3.4% from 2013 to 2014.
With numerous initiatives taken by the government to encourage energy conservation, carbon emissions in 2014 decreased by 3.7%. Moreover, in July 2015, METI established the Long-term Energy Supply and Demand Subcommittee to promote the adoption of smart homes and improve energy management and conservation in the household sector.
*Contributed by Ajinkya Ponkshe, Team Leader ICT Practice, Grand View Research
Ajinkya is a tenured management consulting professional with 4.5+ years of experience in the electronics and communication industry providing consultancy services for commercial due-diligence, market entry strategy, and growth strategy. He has successfully lead and delivered more than 30 assignments in Industrial Automation, Industrial Communication, IoT, and Robotics for major players across the value chain.