Ovum: smart households to rise by 463 million in 2021


Currently around 90 million households are considered smart homes

Smart households are forecasted to rocket almost fivefold from 90 million to 463 million in 2021 according to new research from analyst firm Ovum.

Unit sales are forecasted to  also increase fivefold to 1.2 billion up from 224 million in 2016.

The main driver for sales will be security devices such as cameras, door locks and sensors. Also contributing greatly to the predicted total is utility devices such as light bulbs and smart thermostats. Ovum predicts each smart home household will use on average 8.7 devices bringing the total smart home active installed base to 4 billion devices.

The US will be the biggest adopters of smart home appliances in 2021 with 69 per cent of households expected to adopt smart home appliances. the far east will see significant penetration, South Korea at 48 per cent, Japan with 41 per cent and China at 27 per cent. The UK is forecasted 40 per cent penetration.

Echo, echo, echo

Interactive audio speakers such as the Amazon Echo (pictured) or Google Home will see the fastest growth with unit sales predicted to be more than 88 million in 2021, from 5.5 million in 2016. Said speakers will help spur sales of other smart home devices due to link up capabilities.

Ovum senior analyst Francesco Radicati said: “By using voice control as a user interface, they allow consumers to control their smart home devices in a more natural way, without resorting to apps on their smartphones or tablets, while the AI capabilities of assistants like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant help to deliver increasingly better services.”

However, there is a distinct gap between the number of smart home households and the take-up of dedicated smart home services. For example, on a worldwide basis, 15.5% of households will have adopted smart home security technology by 2021, but only 6.2% will be paying for a professional smart home security service.

Ovum practice leader for smart home services Michael Philpott said: “This gap between the take-up of smart devices and services suggests that there is an opportunity to develop new business models around smart home technology. However, players will need to be innovative and open to working with third-party devices and partners if they are to be successful.”