Wednesday, February 8, 2017


The U.S. smart home market has yet to truly take off. At its current state, we believe the smart home market is stuck in the 'chasm' of the technology adoption curve, in which it is struggling to surpass the early-adopter phase and move to the mass-market phase of adoption.

There are many barriers preventing mass-market smart home adoption: high device prices, limited consumer demand and long device replacement cycles. However, the largest barrier is the technological fragmentation of the smart home ecosystem, in which consumers need multiple networking devices, apps and more to build and run their smart home.



The smart home gateway, a must-have element in the connected home, is the control center of sensors, or so-called nodes. According to ABI Research, nearly 30 million home gateways will be shipped annually worldwide by 2020, up from 5.1 million in 2014.

Currently, the key component market of smart home gateways is dominated by 20 to 30 IC suppliers. Their competitiveness is built on their core competence, extensive background in radio frequency, and comprehensive product portfolio. Their chips and modules are applied in intelligent hubs, end-to-end devices and cloud servers for the whole ecosystem Not just selling chips, they provide reference designs and turnkey solutions to address time-to-market and cost-effective demands. Besides, they are also strong ecosystem partners, and solution providers for service providers. They create profit with either cost savings or added value.



The idea of a smart house began in the 1980s where it is defined as a technology used in homes to provide safety, convenience, and economic benefits. Smart homes in the 21st century has applied automation technology in every manual operation thus giving home owners full control of their home without sacrificing safety and ease of access.

According to, the latest trend involves the smart phone technology allowing you to access various parts of the house even if your hundreds of miles away. But what components does a typical smart home have? These top 5 essential systems will surely turn your conventional home to the smart home every homeowner wants to have.

1. Security System

The top component for every smart home is the security system. Having a smart home requires full security since this is vital to keep you and your property safe from harm. With the increase of violence out in the news today, security systems are important to every home owner. Having a security system installed in your home includes installation of wired surveillance cameras, motion sensors, smoke detectors, fingerprint or eye scanners, and the likes. With all these installed, you could definitely prevent burglary from occurring.

Even from a remote location, the homeowner could check or access the surveillance camera system and view a live feed of your home. This technology also allows homeowners to know if a window or door is left ajar or open. This allows a homeowner not to leave the house open to vulnerability. In times like these, alarm systems, especially those that offer hidden surveillance cameras are crucial to keep a lookout on thieves and burglary prevention.

2. Intercoms

Smart home technology gives full credit to communication as a key tool in keeping the house safe and sound. With telephones & intercoms installed all around the house, communication won’t be a problem especially if you are living in an estate. You don’t have to shout your way to talk to a person on the first floor or let everyone in the household that you have run out of napkins. Intercoms allow ease of communication throughout your household while streamlining your way through common tasks. With this level of convenience, who wouldn’t want to build and purchase your own smart home?

3. Automated Appliances and Furniture

Smart home systems offer voice-automated appliances such as motorized shades and blinds, entertainment systems, lawn sprinklers, and even lights. Having these automated appliances at home relieves you of the laborious tasks especially when you are already old. Voice recognition software products are made available for smart home owners to easily program simple commands to your smart home.

4. Centralized Lighting System

With a single click of a button, or a flip of a switch, you could already turn off all the lights in your house. No, I’m not talking about the circuit breaker, I’m talking about a centralized lighting system control that enables you to have lights in selected rooms to brighten or even set to a dim level depending on your choice. Other than having remote access to all the lights at home, this system also allows you to program your desired brightness in every room of your house. Lights can shut off automatically when not needed, and even turn on when needed. Who wouldn’t want this type of smart home system right?

5. Ventilation, Heating and Air Conditioning System

Every smart home requires a proper heating, ventilation, and cooling system that work much more than programmable thermostats and timer controls. In countries that experience extreme weather conditions, smart home technology on heating, ventilation, and cooling system is important to give you access even when you're halfway around the globe. With an automated system monitoring or programs to keep your home well-insulated or ventilated, you are also cutting down on your energy bills.

Moreover, having this smart technology keeps you free from small tasks such as adjusting the insulation at home. This saves you the time and energy as you have remote access throughout your home and even automatically adjust by itself depending on the changes in temperature to the current weather.



IFTTT stands for "if this, then that." It's a website and mobile app that you use to write little commands, but without any programming. You create an account on IFTTT and authenticate it to connect to other online services that you use, everything from email to Facebook to the account that controls your smart mattress cover. Then, by selecting options on the screen, you make what IFTTT calls recipes, such as, "If the mattress senses I got out bed, then turn on the smart coffeemaker."



Voice still remains a novelty within the smart home to many consumers. Consumers are not using home voice assistants’ applications frequently, and when they are using them, they aren't using the same ones regularly. This could be because consumers see voice as yet another confusing or redundant platform or interface within the home, and not one that’s critical to their smart home ecosystems or daily experiences.

While this certainly represents another adoption barrier, it's unclear of what the actual impact of this perception will be. The perception of home voice as a luxury normally would be seen as a major barrier to adoption of voice-assisted speakers within the smart home. But lower price points for the devices may lead to some consumers adopting voice as a smart home speaker despite their status as luxury devices. A good example of this is the Echo Dot, priced at $49.99, which prompts some users to purchase the device on a whim. Moving forward, it'll be key to see if this perception holds back adoption of smart home speakers.



VoiceLabs forecasts that 24.5 million of these “voice-first devices” will ship in 2017. This includes the Echo and Google Home, but also competing devices that haven't yet been released. Microsoft plans to launch a device, and BI Intelligence predicts that Apple and Samsung will also do so at some point this year. As the most mature device, the Echo line will likely comprise the largest share of these devices, but as more companies release competitors, it'll be critical to see if they'll be able to eat into Amazon’s market share.



Amazon’s Echo products are designed to be an access point to the Prime network. As BI Intelligence has previously identified, the online retailer’s monetization strategy doesn't focus on the hardware of the Echo devices, but rather on connecting users directly to the Prime network without having to go through an iPhone or Google search engine to do so. This creates a recurring revenue stream for the online retailer. As Alexa’s reach continues to expand, it will become an even larger monetization asset for Amazon by allowing more points of entry into the Prime network.



The Google Home is centered on targeting users with ads. The company is one of the largest in the world to rely on ads as its primary stream of revenue, announcing a whopping $79.4 billion from its AdSense division on its earnings call last week, the overwhelming majority of the Alphabet parent’s total revenue. While Alphabet bought the device makers Nest and Dropcam in recent years, it doesn't have the built-in user base that Apple has with iPhone. It may boast a technological advantage in the Google Assistant, however, over Alexa and Siri at this point, as Sundar Pichai argued on the company’s earnings call.



Apple’s HomeKit is centered on sales of the iPhone, the remote of the HomeKit ecosystem. While the entire ecosystem is built around Apple products, with the Apple TV or iPad serving as the hub for the HomeKit ecosystem, the iPhone is the only prerequisite for a user to set up an Apple Home ecosystem. Users can still operate the ecosystem without an Apple TV or iPad, albeit only from inside the home rather than remotely. This helps the company because each iPhone user with iOS 10 has the ability to set up HomeKit devices and use Apple products to adopt the smart home.


Smart Home Market - Corporates Compete

Apple may fall behind Google and Amazon due to its heavy reliance on iPhone sales to monetize the smart home. As previously noted, Apple is only one of the three companies listed above to rely on hardware to drive revenue in the smart home space. Amazon and Google will continue to be able to monetize the smart home even if the sales of their hardware decline, which is especially relevant given the recent trend of iPhone sales stagnation. But with a new tenth-anniversary iPhone on the horizon this year, the company might be able to overcome this at least temporarily. Further, despite that the company might not be able to get more people to buy iPhones and set up HomeKit, it still has a massive iPhone user base that works to its advantage.


What American Market is Thinking?


  • Smart home devices are becoming more prevalent throughout the US. We define a smart home device as any stand-alone object found in the home that is connected to the internet, can be either monitored or controlled from a remote location, and has a noncomputing primary function. Multiple smart home devices within a single home form the basis of a smart home ecosystem.
  • Currently, the US smart home market as a whole is in the "chasm" of the tech adoption curve. The chasm is the crucial stage between the early-adopter phase and the mass-market phase, in which manufacturers need to prove a need for their devices.
  • High prices, coupled with limited consumer demand and long device replacement cycles, are three of the four top barriers preventing the smart home market from moving from the early-adopter stage to the mass-market stage. For example, mass-market consumers will likely wait until their device is broken to replace it. Then they will compare a nonconnected and connected product to see if the benefits make up for the price differential.
  • The largest barrier is technological fragmentation within the connected home ecosystem. Currently, there are many networks, standards, and devices being used to connect the smart home, creating interoperability problems and making it confusing for the consumer to set up and control multiple devices. Until interoperability is solved, consumers will have difficulty choosing smart home devices and systems.
  • "Closed ecosystems" are the short-term solution to technological fragmentation. Closed ecosystems are composed of devices that are compatible with each other and which can be controlled through a single point.


Smart Home Components

All kinds of small appliances, light bulbs, door sensors, and other home products can automatically turn on and off when triggered by certain actions. Smart homes make life more comfortable, and they're typically designed to be power-efficient, which could save you money.


Smart Home - Introduction

Smart home is regarded as fast-growing and booming in the IoT market, driving dramatic evolution and growth opportunities for the chip business over the next decade. The falling cost of adding sensing and communications to consumer products implies that a typical family home, in a mature affluent market, could contain several hundred smart objects by 2022, according to Gartner, Inc.