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Date: 06-11-20

WFH adding new dimensions to smart home biz

Before the Kovid epidemic, technology and market analysts working in the smart home area, focus on trends and issues such as connectivity standardisation, artificial intelligence and machine learning, security, cloud versus edge computing. They talked about home office, but never seen the importance what has been we all witnessing due to Kovid-19 Work-From-Home (WFH) option. It's nearly  a must now to have a workspace/office to every member of the family irrespective of your economic/financial status.

Let's see what are the key latest trends in smart home in 2021 and further:
With the fibre, 4G and 5G networks, Internet speeds are no more a recurring hurdle with the connectivity. What is important is  reliable-connectivity irrespective of slight variation in speeds. With the 5G coming in, still we are not in a stage to see how a lot of other standards will get aligned or stay as an alternative to 5G. It may take some time before some standards go away from the market due to cost and security issues. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are rooted strongly to stay longer in the smart home domain to make the devices communicate inside the home.

The word 'smart' in the smart home is not only means easy operation of your home appliances from your smart phone, it's lot more about automation, where smart thinking-home (system) takes care of its needs lot by itself. Well, we can call them as Robo-homes. You may or may not see the robot roaming inside the home, but there will be this invisible technology helping the members of the home in lot of their daily activities. So there going to be lot of artificial intelligence based computing systems.

System security and reliability drives adoption of smart home systems. However robust and  secure is your design, it's going to be continuous effort to keep on making them hack-proof and safe. There is always scope for some proprietary technology element to ensure security. It's going to be a combination of open source, open standards and your own software and hardware coming in at many stages.

Edge computing is still in need along with cloud computing, though the networks are quite reliable these days, but they are not consistent in terms of speed. Along with this reliability issue of the networks, the cloud side business models keep changing, which in turn affect dependency on these systems. To free from such controls and also have increased reliability, client-side computing is must for today's voice and video processing.

However the most important for today's environment is to have your smart home systems in such a way that you and your family members can work/study full-time from your home office and remotely do lot more things compared to past years,  since many at home are no more relaxing and  doing lot of other activities.

In that sense, smart systems need to be relooked and redesigned, so that they fulfil office needs along with home needs.

 Market researcher ABI Research, after considered these new issues arise in the year 2020  due to Kovid 19,  has come out with a new report on smart home trends.

ABI says "Alongside technological development, social, environmental, financial, and even political change will bring critical mass to speed smart home development and value."
      
Smart homes heading towards lot more flexible - to adapt to weather changes, - flexible change in the use of spaces as per the increase and decrease in the activities and presence of people, - enable and support new revenue generating services, -well connected to smart city systems to effectively manage resources, - and most important is to have least environmental impact., as per ABI.

ABI forecasts global smart home spending will grow at a rate of 24.4% CAGR to reach US$ 317.6 billion.

“Smart home capabilities are already becoming central to residents’ daily lives. A swathe of new and emerging technologies will increasingly extend and strengthen that position through enabling a wide range of interconnected services within the home and beyond,” says Jonathan Collins, Smart Home Research Director at ABI Research.

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