The Smart Home: Apple Sees A Bright Future, Do You?

Nicholas Kitonyi - Author

Jun. 21 2016, Updated 11:45 a.m. ET

The smart home market may appear to be struggling overall, but that is not going to keep technology giants out of the game. Last week, Apple announced that it will be launching an application codenamed “Home” that will act as an interface for all smart devices connected to its HomeKit software.

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Apple has a reputation for being one of the most innovative companies in the world after disrupting the computing market in the late 20th century and the smartphone market in the mid-2000s. However, the tech giant has lagged behind in some areas of the market, including the smart home market, which it now seeks to disrupt with its latest innovation.

The smart home market remains largely up for grabs given the fact there is no realistic market leader. The industry is still in its infancy, and has recently attracted question marks over whether or not it would meet earlier predictions on growth. In fact, there are those who believe that Apple’s latest announcement with regard to its plans on the market may yet prove to be nothing more than a “Hail Mary” play.

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However, given the ongoing technological advances, the smart home market could yet prove to be one of the best industries to invest in now. Currently, homemakers and owners are utilizing various smart devices to improve the value of their investments. When we talk about smart devices in our homes, one of the first things that come to mind is Apple TV, which the tech giant looks to incorporate in the list of smart devices linked to HomeKit.

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However, today’s smart home is composed of several smart devices, fixtures, and fittings including smart bulbs, smart home window blinds, smart vents, and smart door locks, among others. The only problem so far is that the general picture appears to put smart home devices and fittings in the category of luxury products.

This is probably why the market has failed to take off as earlier imagined by analysts. While some of these devices could become a necessity in the near future, it remains to be seen how this would affect the market overall.

According to a report published last month by Markets and Markets, the smart home market is expected to breach the $120 billion mark by the year 2022. Based on 2015’s valuation of $46.97 billion, the projected figure of $121.73 billion for the year 2022 translates to an annual compound growth rate of about 14.07 percent. That’s pretty good growth given the fact that it has stalled over the last few years. Business Insider estimates that the adoption rate of smart home currently stands at just 10 percent, but with high hopes of reaching 25 percent within the next six years.

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On the other hand, renowned market research and stats site Statista has a different projection, with an estimate of about $58.68 billion in market value by the year 2020. These reports have highly contradicting estimates unless the market jumps from a valuation of less than $60 billion to more than $120 billion in a couple years. This indicates the level of uncertainty that currently surrounds the smart home market.

Nonetheless, it is clear that Apple believes that there is a lot to come from this yet to be exploited market as it seeks to connect our homes to our hand-held devices. And, there are genuine reasons to maintain the optimism. A couple of decades ago, it was impossible to imagine holding a smartphone in our hands and performing all those tasks that we do today. Therefore, it wouldn’t come as a surprise if the entire home is wrapped up in the tiny device in a couple of years to come.

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In the next few years, people will consider having a smart home for different reasons. Some will look to improve security while others will be driven by the virtue of it being technologically fancy. Whichever avenue brings you towards making your home smarter, you will probably end up utilizing more than the single or the few features that triggered your interest.

Apple is making sure of that by bringing everything under a single app called “Home.” This could be what revives the smart home market thereby enabling it to reach current valuation predictions, which suggest that the future remains bright.

In summary, the smart home appears to be here to stay, and if technological advances are anything to go by, then we all should brace ourselves for more connected homes.

[Photo by Jeff Chiu/AP Images]


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