As technology continues its rapid evolution, science fiction films like ‘Back to the Future’ are quickly becoming reality. We no longer need to imagine a connected world where you can enter your house with your fingerprint and be welcomed to the right lighting, perfect temperature and your favorite song. This year, smart home technology is closer to promising this utopian lifestyle than ever before. In fact, one in four Australian households are already equipped with smart devices. This figure is expected to almost double over the next four years with the number of connected devices in our homes also expected to increase two-fold. Unfortunately, today, consumers still grapple with affordability issues, difficult purchasing decisions and complex connectivity scenarios, ultimately disjointing the smarter home experience.
With smart homes now consisting of smart speakers, smart TVs, tablets, smartphones, smartwatches and smart security, the range and complexity of smart home devices has proliferated. In fact, the number of connected devices in Australian households is predicted to increase from 17 to over 37 in the next four years. With the start-up cost for these devices already $10,000 combined, this steep upfront investment bears a high risk for consumers in the early days of establishing a smart home as they are unsure if the technology will become obsolete. As the total annual running cost of a smart home is already roughly $5,000 a year, these costs combined create another barrier in smart home adoption.
While the costs of owning a smart home is challenging, managing the lifecycle of each smart home device is even more complex. With the number of connected devices increasing, the number of likely lifecycle events (installation, damage, repair or upgrade) also increases, as consumers will soon experience one of these events a month. Not only are the number of devices difficult to manage, the vast range of platforms (Google, Amazon, etc.), networks (ZigBee, Bluetooth, Cat-M1) and branded devices has led to a fragmented market and disjointed consumer experience.
Simplicity will triumph
With many Australians well on their way to owning a smart home, service providers around the world will be looking at this new wave of opportunities for connected devices. As consumer choice grows, and the complexity in smart home increases, the service provider who simplifies the consumer’s smart home experience will win the market. Here at Brightstar, our in-depth experience in device management has enabled our Insights team to map the consumer’s smart home journey to identify start-up costs, running costs and various lifecycle events when maintaining a smart home. After mapping these events over four years, we have a solid understanding of each smart home device lifecycle and can advise tailored solutions in making smart home hardware more accessible to the end-consumer.
Energy and insurance to drive opportunities
With 1.6 million Australian households already owning a smart speaker, voice enabled technology has become the control center for home automation. Smart energy devices (smart lights and thermostats) and smart security devices (smart security cameras, sensors, door locks) are also witnessing high consumer uptake, therefore energy retailers and insurance providers have a unique opportunity to lead the smart home market. For example, the yearly amortized cost of a smart energy bundle is only a fraction (10%) of the price of electricity. Similarly, a security device bundle costs only a quarter (25%) of the cost of home insurance annually. Therefore, educating consumers on the incremental cost and tangible savings they can make when joining a smart bundle not only opens the door to smart home adoption, it opens the door to countless revenue streams.
Bundles to boost adoption
As smart home devices continue to dominate the market, we believe creating tailored bundles on the various platforms available, while catering to the consumer’s existing ecosystem preference (iOS or Android), will encourage more consumers to adopt to a smart home. With so many smart home opportunities on the horizon, smart bundles and Hardware as a Service (HaaS) solutions are just the tip of the iceberg. So, don’t wait for other companies to take the lead, contact Brightstar today and uncover the next layer of smart home possibilities, opportunities and benefits.
Alakshendra Swarup is a Category Manager at Brightstar, working within Brightstar’s Insights Team. To learn more about smart home, download our insights report.