In the first of a series of blogs, we examine the world of smart devices designed for the home and how they’re changing our lives. Whether the convenience of a smart doorbell, the security of sensor-driven cameras outside our homes, or a TV that offers web browsing and gaming in addition to hundreds of channels, we’re living in an environment that is becoming more connected by the month. And not just more connected: devices are now designed to work together, so homeowners may have several devices that spring to life with one word or a simple tap on a smartphone.
The global Smart Home Market was valued at $98.24 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach $495.15 billion by 2028.
Very likely hastened by the pandemic and the requirement to work from home, a record 19.2 million smart devices were bought by UK consumers in the year to July 2021. The same research, carried out by global professional services company Deloitte, suggests each consumer has access to 5.4 different digital devices, an 8% increase on 2020.
Smart devices are not the playthings of Generation Z and Millennials, either. From smart plugs that both control the devices plugged into it and monitor energy usage, to room thermostats that can set different temperatures for rooms within the home, connected devices serve every generation and demographic. Deloitte’s research showed that ownership of smart speakers among the 65-75 age group doubled in the year to May 2020, growing from 11% to 21%.
But the nature of smart devices has changed: while early connected devices like an Alexa Echo Dot required nothing more than unboxing and plugging into the wall, integrated devices that can talk to other devices tend to be wired rather than wireless, which requires complex electrical installation. Take a smart home security solution as an example: an entire kit might include a home alarm, an indoor Wi-Fi camera, an outdoor camera, motion detectors, window and door contacts, two sirens and a keypad.
This change in state has moved consumers from DIY-ers that are happy to get handy with a screwdriver into people that feel more reassured when their install is managed by a qualified technician: after all, how many customers have the ability and the tools to install such a complex electrically wired set-up? Using a professional installer not only offers customers total reassurance and peace of mind, purchasers of smart devices also benefit from being shown how their new product works, can be taken through its features and shown how to sync the solution to external devices such as smart watches and smartphones.
But what of the future? We’re already seeing glimpses of technology becoming significantly more complex in order to make human lives easier and more convenient. From the early dawn of a personal robot reacting to a voice control (“Alexa, set an alarm for five minutes”), to using AI and machine learning to learn a person’s preferences in a given environment. This might manifest in heating and lighting changing as Person A walks into the kitchen to retrieve the cool glass of water they have just ordered from their smartphone.
Smart home tech is here to stay and it’s only going to get more advanced, making our lives easier, more secure and more connected. And as customers demand more interoperability between devices within the home, OrderWork continues to provide installation capability to our partners, household names like Currys, Samsung and Amazon. Our skilled, plug-in network of more than 6,500 tradespeople: plumbers, technicians, electrical engineers….. is underpinned by our digital, automated platform myOrderWork.
Our aim is ‘Right First Time’, and we take this very seriously. OrderWork’s installation experts have carried out more than two million installations nationwide and we’re continuing to invest in systems, processes and people to enable our partners to deliver excellent service to their customers.