Mar 5 2014, 2:22pm CST | by Forbes
For some time, there’s been a trusty saw which says the smart home industry is always one or two years away from being the next big thing, but every year some other ‘next-big-thing’ cuts in front of it in line.
After 30 or 40 years, that’s a lot of other next-big-things.
To use another old saying, the smart home is always a bridesmaid but never a bride…until now. You don’t have to look far to see a white hot market, what with $3.2 billion acquisitions of connected thermostat makers.
So what’s changed? Here are four reasons why the smart home is no longer a bridesmaid:
People in the home automation industry realized talking about automating your home doesn’t capture the imagination of consumers. Nowadays the focus is on making your home more intelligent and livable with exciting new point products such as Nest or smart locks. Lots of marketing dollars from big service providers and home improvement stores help too.
In 2009, the great recession put many home system integrators out of business. At the time, hardly anyone could afford a ten or even hundred thousand dollar home automation system. Eventually lower cost offerings came to market, which helped save those scrappy integrators who embraced them while also serving to expand the addressable market.
The Mobile Revolution
Ten years ago, if you wanted a portable home automation controller, chances are you’d have to drop a thousand or more bucks on a clunky proprietary device. Luckily for all of us, along came the iPhone and app revolution, and nowadays it’s near impossible to find a smart home company that doesn’t have a mobile app.
Like many other industries, the smart home space has thrived as a result of cloud computing, open source hardware and crowdfunding. Whether it’s new smart home platforms like SmartThings, connected point solutions like Lockitron or established players like Belkin, there are numerous examples of companies benefitting from an increasingly democratized technology market.
The bottom line is the smart home is no longer the next big thing. It’s big now.
The smart home has finally arrived.
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.
blog comments powered by Disqus
The “geek mind” is concerned with more than just the latest iPhone rumors, or which company will win the gaming console wars. I4U is concerned with more than just the latest photo shoot or other celebrity gossip.
The “geek mind” is concerned with life, in all its different forms and facets. The geek mind wants to know about societal and financial issues, both abroad and at home. If a Fortune 500 decides to raise their minimum wage, or any high priority news, the geek mind wants to know. The geek mind wants to know the top teams in the National Football League, or who’s likely to win the NBA Finals this coming year. The geek mind wants to know who the hottest new models are, or whether the newest blockbuster movie is worth seeing. The geek mind wants to know. The geek mind wants—needs—knowledge.
Read more about The Geek Mind.