Big buzz doesn’t always mean big money, or in the case of the smart home, widespread adoption. Michael Wolf, one of the industry’s most well-known IoT and smart home analysts, offers a refreshing, and honest, perspective on the smart home market in his recent article “The Coming Smart Home Shakeout.”
“The smart home industry is trying to figure itself out, Wolf said. “Companies like Best Buy, Lowe’s and others that have jumped into this market with gusto aren’t always seeing the type of demand they want for the products given the amount of shelf space they’ve allocated.”
The smart home products that are getting noticed by consumers? The ones that they understand—and understand a true need for—Wolf explains.
“The early success has come in a few product categories like cameras, thermostats, maybe a few door locks. In other words, product categories consumers get immediately.”
“We have obvious demand for products like smart home security systems because, well, consumers understand home security.”
Resolution Products Co-Founder and VP of Engineering, Paul Saldin, agrees. “The fact that so many MSO’s, VC’s and angel investors are spending all this cash publicizing the smart home is great. But security—that’s the keys to the kingdom.”
“This largely represents the position Resolution has taken in the connected home/smart home space,” Dave Mayne, Resolution Products VP of marketing explains. “While many large players and new sales channels for smart home solutions evolve, they are all seeking a means of monetizing their solutions. The security industry represents this to the smart home market. The security industry seems old and stodgy, but in reality it is a robust financial engine that drives smart home solutions.”
Resolution Products delivers a “hub” that looks much like other emerging and highly publicized Smart Home hub offerings. The difference?
- The Helix is UL Listed for burglary and fire—allowing the hub to reach into monetizing through security services.
- The company has an established channel of security dealers to reach to help bring this vision to market.
- Resolution Products utilizes proven and established technologies that deliver low cost, long battery life sensors to the market rather than overly complicated technologies often embraced by newcomers.
“This is exactly why we believe the Helix is the ideal platform to bridge the vision described with the recurring revenue all are seeking,” Mayne said.
A recent report cited on SDM Magazine by Argus Insights states that while home automation was gaining attention and experiencing robust growth in 2014, the sector is now “quickly losing steam.” According Argus, data shows that as of May 2015 consumer demand for connected home devices experienced its first drop below the level of a year ago, a sign that consumer interest is stagnating.
The analysis of more than 12,000 consumer reviews also discloses major negative issues such as persistent problems with reliability as well as trouble with connectivity.
Key takeaways from the report, according to Argus Insights include:
- Year-over-year slowdown in growth is clear indication that the home automation market is stalling and may be contracting.
- Consumers are unsure what products they want or need while first adopters have already made their purchases.
- The Google investments in Nest and Dropcam and Samsung acquisitions in home automation are not growing at the rate expected from such acquisitions.
“The moral of the story?” Saldin concludes, “let’s keep things as simple as possible while adding new features to core security.”