The popularity of smart home products is increasing globally, and international research firm Parks Associates notes that as the interoperability, capabilities and marketing of these products expand, so will their adoption rates.
The European continent is in line to achieve strong growth over the next several years. By 2019, Western Europe will overtake the Asia-Pacific region in sales of smart home controllers, with over five million unit sold in 2019 and 13 million by 2021, Parks Associated predicts.
Smart home adoption in Europe has traditionally trailed the U.S. due in large part to the differences in their respective home security markets. By the end of 2018, the number of North American households with professionally monitored home security will exceed 26 million, compared to less than seven million in Europe.
Home security serves as a natural channel to drive adoption of smart home devices, demonstrating use cases for home safety, security and monitoring products including smart thermostats, door locks, light bulbs and video door bells. These conditions have helped propel the smart home market in the U.S., where 26% of broadband households now own at least one smart home device.
European adoption in multiple smart home categories is accelerating, though, as products become more widespread and affordable and consumers are more aware of the use cases for convenience, safety and energy management.
Currently, 16% of U.K. broadband households own a smart home device. The most popular devices include smart thermostats, smart light bulbs and networked/IP cameras. Today 5% of U.K. broadband households own a networked/IP camera, and Parks Associates estimates that by 2021 more than 18% will own this device. Germany’s adoption of networked/IP cameras will reach nearly 12% by the same year, a more modest jump from the 2018 adoption rates.
Energy management is another driver of smart home device adoption in Europe. Smart devices such as light bulbs, thermostats and water leak detectors are adding new benefits to the energy management market and driving product visibility among European consumers. Currently 6% of U.K. broadband households own a smart thermostat, so as with the U.S., the smart thermostat is a key “hero” device leading to broader adoption of smart home solutions.
International research firm Parks Associates is hosting their 13th annual CONNECTIONS Europe: Strategies for the Smart Home and Consumer IoT conference on November 13-14, where industry executives will gather to examine new technologies, consumer engagement, and business models to drive new recurring revenues.
The event, with keynotes from IBM, Inwido AB, Orange, Parks Associates, Philips Hue and Robert Bosch Smart Home GmbH, addresses strategies to overcome inhibitors such as low consumer familiarity, security and privacy concerns and high upfront costs, and develop strategies to drive mass-market adoption of smart home solutions.