Forrester Vice President and Principal Analyst Frank Gillett discusses the smart home: the types of technologies in the market, the ways in which they’re used by consumers, and how the smart home could change the economy as we know it.
Frank Gillett, Vice President, Principal Analyst
Although the term “smart home” has been around for decades, only recently have smart home technologies matured from niche to mass market. But while 59% of consumers are interested in smart home technology, only 20% of US households will have a smart home device (excluding smart speakers) by 2022.
So what’s lacking? The orchestrator. Voice assistants like Alexa or Google Home are thin veneers that simply allow consumers to access the apps that control smart technologies — they’re no different from our smartphones. But that’s not the challenge at play.
Companies’ main concern is adoption — consumers aren’t buying their products. You might be interested in a smart refrigerator, but not until your current fridge dies — seven years from now. Then there’s the added cost of production: equipping devices with sensors, buying storage to host the influx of data, and figuring out how to secure that data.
In this episode, Frank Gillett doesn’t recommend that companies try to become the market “owner” of the smart home. Instead, he explores what it would mean for smart technologies to augment existing activities — like grocery shopping and food preparation — and how this could reshape the consumer economy.