Global spending on automated home devices is expected to reach $75bn by 2025, up from $23bn in 2018, according to GlobalData, a leading data, and analytics company. According to the company’s latest report ‘Thematic Research: Automated home’, much of that growth will be driven by two types of devices: smart thermostats, which are becoming increasingly common as consumers and governments alike look to control energy consumption; and smart speakers, relatively recent entrants to the market (the first device, Amazon’s Echo, was only launched in 2014) that have proven to be phenomenally popular.
Ed Thomas, Principal Analyst for GlobalData’s Technology Thematic Research team commented: “The advent of smart speakers has had a significant impact across the automated home, as they have enabled simple, voice-activated control of all types of smart devices and, thanks to their relatively low price point, offered an ideal entry point for customers that are curious about home automation. Their success has also turned the home into another front in the ongoing war between the giants of the technology industry, including Amazon, Google, Apple, Alibaba, and Samsung.”
The Echo range of smart speakers are the foundation of Amazon’s automated home business and the company has looked to build on that with acquisitions, including spending $1bn on smart doorbell manufacturer Ring. Google’s decision to bring its automated home business together under the Nest brand should help it compete better with Amazon. GlobalData notes that the Chinese market represents a significant opportunity, with Alibaba, Baidu, and Xiaomi the leading vendors.
Thomas concludes, “Samsung is falling behind in this theme – its smart speaker has yet to hit shelves despite being announced in 2018 and the company lacks a unified approach to the automated home of the kind that Google now has following its decision to embrace Nest as its automated home brand. Specialist automated home device vendors, such as Ecobee, will increasingly struggle to compete with the tech giants and will either be acquired or forced out of business.”