It’s unquestionable that we are in the middle of a technology frenzy with everything from phones to fridges now have the word ‘smart‘ included in the title, it seems like every week there is a new version launched of the latest gadget that we all need.
On the market now there are more products than ever than can help people ‘manage’ their Smart Homes in a smart way, you can for example turn you lights on with a smartphone app, see how your favourite plant is doing and if it needs to be watered and even pan and zoom around your home via CCTV from your phone on the move. It is now possible to automate lots of things in your home and the increase of homes being labelled as Smart is definitely on the increase but what we want to know is…
“Does this make it easier to sell?”
Granted there is certainly a market in the western world for ‘smart this and gadget that’, we simply cant get enough…Apple is proof of this beyond doubt. There is though an argument that can be put forward that there is a portion of buyers and sellers that do not want or wish to have a house where they feel they require a degree to understand all the gadgets, gizmos and technology that is contained within the four walls and roof they own.
We must also remember that products like the Phillips Hue lights are quite expensive (and deemed by many a luxury not necessity) at around £200 and whilst sellers are inclined to spend some money pre-sale to make their house more attractive to potential buyers, we cannot see people rushing out spending hundreds and hundreds of pounds on items like these.
It is also worth noting that whilst companies like Apple and Sumsung have undoubtedly mastered the art of marketing phones and laptops to the consumers, the same cannot be said for smart devices for the home. It will be very interesting to see if developers & manufacturers can make the process/experience easier for the consumer, remember that most homes are shared and need to many people preferences as opposed to the personal environment of say a phone or a laptop.
Right now, most people don’t want a smart home. And while about 13 percent of people have an internet-connected device that isn’t a computer, phone or tablet in their homes, according to research from Parks Associates, the marketing of the smart home for the consumer is still very far out of reach.
What can you automate in your home?
Technology is moving forward at an amazing rate and new products are launched every week, below are the most common (at the time of this post being published) things that get installed by specialist third party companies in the UK/US.
- Lighting control
- Multi-room music control
- Home cinemas
- Security systems
- Gate Entry
We will say that one of the most common Smart features in many homes in 2015 is a ‘Smart Meter’ for heating and energy. In fact Britain is one of the worlds fastest growing markets for such technology – partially because the government is pushing energy companies to roll out smart meters (although it has been questioned whether it can be delivered on schedule). They have clever functions that let you turn on heating remotely, set it to turn down the temperature if it’s a sunny day, or even turn off when there’s no-one home. Some can tell the latter with motion-sensing cameras, or simply by seeing that your smartphone (and therefore you) has left the premises.
Smart Homes – the figures
Industry experts are predicting that 11% of homes will be ‘smart’ by the end of 2015. This is compared to 17% of households in the US and a global average of 5%. The smart home trend is expected to continue growing with the market set to double across 7.7 million UK homes by 2019.
Many of the big household name companies – Apple, Samsung, Google – are either leading or jumping onto the smart home bandwagon. Last year, Google bought out smart system manufacturers Nest for $3.2 billion (around £2 billion, AU$3.5 billion). Apple released HomeKit, enabling developers to safely connect gadgets to iOS. Samsung is currently looking to make a name for itself in the smart market with a potential acquisition of SmartThings.
It’s fair to conclude though that presently that Smart homes however clever are not easy to setup, mainstream popular and sellable. Things are advancing in this industry no doubt but at this time we feel that it does not help the sale of a house. What are your thoughts on Smart Homes, feel free to leave a comment below.