A new study has revealed Australians will spend $383 million and own an average of 11 Internet-connected devices for our homes in 2016, up from $231 million and 9 devices in 2015, controlling everything from security cameras to heating and cooling systems.
By 2020, this is predicted to reach $4 billion spent Australia-wide with an average of 29 devices per home.
Telsyte, who conducted the research, say growth is expected to accelerate in 2018 as a range of new products come onto the market and manufacturers integrate wireless chipsets into the majority of their product ranges. The fastest growing segments is anticipated to be smart appliances and Internet of Things "at home" services which includes cloud-based "intelligent" services.
So what is driving the success?
Integration with existing mainstream smartphone and app ecosystems is helping drive acceptance of the technology, as is devices being able to interact with each other and intelligent features that use cloud-based machine learning to provide lifestyle benefits. Like a camera system that automatically detects a suspicious person repeatedly walking past a home, and alerts the home owner, for example.
The convenience of voice control and recognition is another big factor. One-third of early adopters have used voice commands on their smartphones with greater than 75 per cent of those indicating a good or adequate experience.
But despite the expected rapid adoption, barriers such as concerns around cyber security and privacy, and high upfront costs will need to be overcome. Interestingly, a strong correlation between those interested in IoT home products and consumers who are environmentally conscious and look to purchase "green" products was also found.
IoT at home is also expected to be a new battleground for telecommunications companies as they seek to differentiate themselves in an increasingly price competitive marketplace driven by widespread 4G adoption and the metropolitan rollout of nbn services. We've already seen a little of what Telstra has planned.
"While carriers will seek to lock consumers in to longer term contracts by dangling the [email protected] carrot, they will need to be more flexible and look at a trial periods, pay-as-you-go, and a modular approach to be successful," Telsyte Managing Director Foad Fadaghi says.