A new report from market research firm Juniper Research forecasts that the installed base of connected appliances in Smart Homes will exceed 10 million by 2017, up from four million in 2013. The Smart Home Ecosystems & the Internet of Things report found that consumer awareness of connected appliances, such as smart fridges and washing machines, has gradually increased, but that such devices are not now widely considered to represent attractive purchases.
The report indicated that smart appliances remain a niche segment, given high retail prices, poor use cases and security concerns. Although the technology to leverage such devices is available already, no service provider has yet made a system for intelligent automation available to consumers, according to the report.
Consumer electronics manufacturers such as Samsung and LG are pushing ahead with what is often termed intelligent appliances as part of their wider smart home strategies. Samsung, for example, is the first major CE manufacturer to demonstrate an entire ecosystem of appliances and technologies across its Smart Home Service platform. However, this service only functions with Samsung products, the report observed, which will likely stunt the growth opportunity and discourage the brand-agnostic consumer.
The report also pointed out that smart home services in the cloud will reduce the need for expensive smart home device processors, and allow such devices to benefit from the power of big data. It suggested that service providers should encourage a user community to help diversify smart home application possibilities and cater to individual needs.