It’s the 21st century already. Isn’t it time we all lived in smart homes?
For technophiles everywhere, the smart home can’t come soon enough. The same might be said for the security marketplace, which is well positioned to thrive in the coming era of home automation.
The wait could be shorter than we think, given some recent trends and events we are seeing in the home automation market. Let’s consider several of them:
1. Home automation is getting attention from Silicon Valley
Google’s acquisition of Nest, and the latter’s subsequent acquisition of Dropcam, were a clear signal from the Silicon Valley giant of its interest in the home automation market. And Apple offers the HomeKit standardised network protocol to facilitate connection of more devices in the home. When the big guys get involved, you have to figure it’s a hot market.
2. New (smaller) companies are entering the market
Despite industry consolidation, it’s still a fertile environment for startup companies that can bring new features and capabilities that are innovative, serve a purpose and can change the home automation industry.
3. Big Security companies are giving it priority
Well-known security brands such as Honeywell and ADT are leaders in the home automation market, and growing contenders such as Control4, Vivint and Interlogix are also part of the mix.
4. Do-it-yourself (DIY) systems coming on strong
Connecting any type of device to a home network is manageable for homeowners who are used to logging in their iPads and home computers. DIY systems work especially well at the entry level, and they can whet homeowners’ appetites for more sophisticated systems that might drive them to security integrators.
5. Standards and protocols driving home automation implementation
Implementation of Zigbee, Z-Wave and other protocols are helping to guide home automation, not to mention low-power variations of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Unsure which protocols will become dominant, manufacturers are seeking to use them all (or as many as practical) until the situation sorts itself out.
6. New business for security integrators of all sizes
Security systems are already in 20 percent of American homes, which means security dealers and integrators are well positioned at the forefront if and when homeowners look to expand their systems to perform other functions, whether HVAC controls, lighting controls or other computer-controlled mechanical devices.
7. Greater interest by security company customers
This is the best news of all, and customer demand drives any market. Integrators report their customers are asking about home automation capabilities and integrators’ ability to install them. The Electronic Security Association says a recent survey indicates 54 percent of its members now offer interactive services.