Realizing the Path to a Truly Smart Home

In an article for Euractiv, Navigant Research says while the smart home concept is capturing headlines, the technology is still in its early stages of development

The smart home is a hot topic, and recent headlines point to a future of smart cars, refrigerators, thermostats, and endless other devices all connected to each other and conveniently controlled with a few swipes of a smartphone.

While new products continue to make regular debuts, Paige Leuschner, research analyst with Navigant Research, said the smart home market might not be as far along as industry hype suggests.

In article for Euractiv, Leuschner said the concept of a smart home goes beyond individual connected devices and do-it-yourself home automation solutions. Rather, it involves comprehensive, integrated platforms where an ecosystem of interoperable devices is supported by software and services in order to provide the top tier of intelligence, interoperability, and automation in the home.

“A truly smart home should be able to act intuitively and automatically, anticipating and responding to the need of consumers based on learned lifestyle patterns and real-time interaction to increase comfort, awareness, convenience, and cost and energy savings,” Leuschner wrote.

Today’s smart home market, she said, is not even close to this vision. Right now, it’s focused on increasing the adoption of connected devices, which will ultimately support more digitally enabled, connected homes. Getting there will not be without its challenges — Leuschner said interoperability issues, and privacy and security concerns are key hurdles — but that the smart home continues to inch closer to reality, with significant investments from big companies indicating the significance of the market’s potential.

“Being able to talk to our homes and have them talk back, while also locking the door behind us, switching off the lights, sending a text message with the grocery list, and dialing down the thermostat to participate in grid flexibility events while we are away are not too far beyond the horizon,” Leuschner said.

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