Home automation and smart home security

State-of-the-art connected homes in Istanbul rely on smart door locks from ASSA ABLOY

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Smart home technology is a growth market for security installers.

The global sensor and device market for home security and automation is expected to grow from $1.4bn in 2015 to $4bn in 2019. Source: ABI Research

92% of installers see home automation as a growth area for business. Source: IFSEC Global research

In a recent survey we asked installers which home automation technologies are installers interested in or actively selling and installing:

  • 81% are going to be installing IP CCTV
  • 74$ are actively selling and installing alarms
  • 72% are interested in installing smart locks
  • 54% are actively selling and installing blinds
  • 48% are selling and installing HVAC
  • 47% are selling and installing AV

Heavy IoT investment by the likes of Cisco, Intel, IBM and Microsoft will inevitably put home automation systems (a form of consumer IoT) into the spotlight.

But if the industry seems to be on the cusp of mass market adoption, several barriers remain – not least cybersecurity concerns, ease-of-use issues, shortcomings in interoperability between devices, protocols, networks and applications, and the need to convince the consumer of the benefits.

But the benefits are potentially profound. Cutting energy costs, remote monitoring and management of security systems and the sheer convenience of turning lights and appliances on and off wherever you are in the house and even beyond are just three of the most compelling.

Long device replacement cycles also mean that suppliers tend to charge a premium for deployments and push consumers into managed services contracts.

Falling prices will help, especially when growing adoption rates persuades manufacturers to produce equipment in higher volumes.

House builders are increasingly keen on building smart heating controls and thermostats into new homes. However, retrofits on older properties remain more challenging. A thriving DIY market also makes it difficult for professional installers to compete.

Nevertheless, a lot of venture capitalist funding is going into home automation start-ups that compete with giants like Samsung, Google, Amazon, Honeywell, GE, Legrand, Siemens, ABB, and United Technologies Corporation, for example) but also home automation systems specialists such as Crestron Electronics, Savant and Control4.

Flagship home automation products to date include the Nest smart home thermostats and cameras, Sonos music systems, GE’s Z-Wave components and Samsung SmartThings Hub. Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home voice activated smarthubs are also driving usage by delivering internet-connected, multimedia gadgets that can control smart thermostats and other devices.


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