Smart speakers drive IoT@Home adoption



The recent arrival of smart speakers to Australian shores is driving a rapid uptake of smart home technology surpassing the US, according to the latest report of VoiceBot.

In their 2018 Australian IoT@Home Market Study, Telsyte found the smart home market had increased by 55 per cent in 2017, reaching a value of $583 million.

They further predict that’s only set to rise rapidly in the immediate years to come, with the estimated value of the market climbing to approximately $4.7 billion in Australia by 2021.

In the process the number of connected devices in Australian home will more than double from 171 million connected devices in 2018 to 381 million in 2022.

“The Telsyte Australian IoT@Home Market Study 2018 found rapid uptake in smart speakers, as well as increasing internet connectivity of appliances such as air conditioners and security cameras, is creating the foundation for an Internet-connected device explosion expected to accelerate beyond 2020,” the report notes.

Here’s an insight into their latest findings, and how the Australian smart home market is evolving…

Current statistics

  • Australians now have an average of 17.1 devices connected within their homes. That’s an increase of four devices from 2017.
  • Telsyte forecasts this number will grow to 37 by 2022 or 381 million Internet-connected devices nationally.
  • Most of this growth is expected to come from IoT@Home devices and associated services, which Telsyte categorises into smart energy, smart security, smart lifestyle and smart hubs
  • The NBN is now ready to connect at 7.2 million premises. The NBN rollout remains on track to be completed by 2020.

Smart speakers

As Apple HomePod and Amazon Echo joined Google Home in the Australian smart speaker market earlier this year, the smart speaker sector experienced a rapid boom.

Telstye notes smart speaker penetration grew from less than 10,000 smart speakers installed in Australian homes in 2016 to around 500,000 at present.

They predict that uptake will continue to increase, rising to an estimated three million smart speakers in Australian homes by 2022.

“The smart speaker category was the fastest growing IoT@Home product in 2017, with Google Home and Google Home mini being the market leaders driven by holiday season sales, free giveaways with Pixel 2 smartphones, and multipack offers,” the Telsyte report found.

“Telsyte expects Apple and Amazon to catch up as their products became more widely available in 2018.

“This surge in smart speaker adoption is expected to lay the foundation for demand for other IoT@Home products. Telsyte research shows smart speaker users are twice as likely to purchase other IoT@Home products compared to non-users.

“The study also found that around 87 per cent of smart speaker users are seeking advanced IoT@Home functions based on AI and machine learning, compared to 68 per cent for those without smart speakers. Some examples include alerting if strangers are repeatedly appearing around the home, or air conditioners that adjust based on knowing a change in schedule through access to an online calendar.”

The four smart home sectors

When analysing the IoT@Home market and its uptake, Telsyte breaks it into four distinct sectors:

Smart energy

These are the devices that monitor and maintain energy efficiency in the home via automation. Telsyte incorporates the following on this list:

  • Smart sensors
  • Smart power points
  • Smart lightbulbs
  • Smart batteries
  • Smart energy components (including smart heating and cooling systems)
  • Smart energy services (subscriptions and managed services)
  • Smart energy installation services

Smart security

These are the items that cater to the security of your home, monitoring it for threats like motion or smoke, and securing it via automated and remote locking.

  • Smart alarms
  • Smart camera (including smart baby monitors and pet monitors)
  • Smart motion sensors
  • Smart lock and intercom systems
  • Other smart security components (including smart smoke detectors)
  • Smart security services (subscriptions and managed services)
  • Smart security installation services

Smart lifestyle

Smart lifestyle products are those designed to simplify your lifestyle, such as automated blinds, garage doors, and connected whitegoods.

  • Smart appliances (eg smart fridges, washing machine, air conditioner, robot vacuum etc)
  • Smart gardening (sensor activated irrigation, robot lawnmowers)
  • Other smart lifestyle components (eg smart blinds, smart awnings, smart curtains, smart garage doors, and smart pool maintenance equipment)
  • Smart IoT@Home services (subscriptions and managed services)
  • Smart IoT@Home installation services

Smart hubs

Smart hubs are the central units where information regarding the state of your home and appliances is relayed to. Essentially a gateway, they process information and relay commands.

  • Dedicated control hubs (eg FIBARO Home Center 2)
  • Smart Speakers (eg Amazon Echo, Google Home, Apple HomePod)

Lifestyle to drive future uptake

With the adoption of smart speakers paving the way for the connected lifestyle, Telsyte anticipates the smart lifestyle products will be the largest sector by 2022.

Comprising whitegoods, appliances and house and garden products, the sector’s uptake is being driven by manufacturers who are now incorporating connectivity into appliances as a standard feature, and making smart home tech more affordable as a result.

“Building connectivity into consumer products will allow manufacturers to develop new business models and provide intelligent services that not only change consumers’ lifestyles, but disrupt a number of traditional industries,” Telsyte Managing Director Foad Fadaghi said.

“Telsyte research shows a clear shift in where consumers start their IoT@Home journey. More consumers are now interested in enhancing their kitchen with smart speakers and smart appliances.”

NBN rollout

Behind smart connectivity is a reliable internet connection, and the NBN notes it’s on track to have all Australian homes connected by the deadline of 2020.

At present 7.2 million Australian homes are ready to connect. By 2020, 8.1 million will be connected and the complete quota of 11.7 million homes will be ready to connect.

“The company’s deployment forecasts show that FY19 will be the biggest year for construction with an additional 2.7 million premises to be declared Ready to Connect,” NBN noted.

“By the end of FY19, more than 80 per cent of Australian homes and businesses are forecast to be Ready to Connect to a service over the nbn™ access network. A further 1.9 million are projected be added to the footprint in the nbn™ network’s final year of construction.

“FY20 is forecast to be NBN Co’s most significant year of activations with two million new homes and businesses expected, bringing total activations to 7.5 million.

“By FY22, 8.7 million premises are expected to be connected to services over the nbn™ access network.”

Five things you need to consider

If you’re looking to embrace the smart home movement, it’s important to note a truly automated home isn’t just about connected appliances.

The basis of a connected and automated home that operates now and into the future involves creating a smart ecosystem.

This ecosystem allows all your devices to connect to a single point, and then be controlled via apps, smart speakers and remotely from your smart phone. A smart ecosystem also allows devices to operate in conjunction with each other, creating scenes and scenarios based on your commands or in automatic response to the state of your home environment.

Bearing that in mind, here’s five things you need to know…

  • The sum of its parts -For a truly automated and intuitive experience, your smart home needs to be viewed as the sum of its parts. That means considering the ecosystem it will operate within and ensuring all devices can be controlled through a central hub.
  • Lay solid foundations – When laying your smart home foundations, look at what you’re trying to achieve. Consider how you want your home to assist your lifestyle, and then map out the features that most matter to you. (You can view our complete smart home checklist here).
  • Consider the future – The smart home landscape is set to evolve over the coming years, so look for foundations that you can add to, and invest in proven technology that will allow you to add additional components over time.
  • Go with the pro’s – Professional installation ensures you ecosystem will operate intuitively and all your devices can connect and communicate with each other.
  • The communication factor – Although appliances may feature wireless connectivity, they can speak different languages (as in operate using different protocols). Consider the benefits of each language and pick a protocol you intend to run with throughout your smart home. At Lera our preferred connection type is the mesh network Z-Wave, as it increases in strength as more components are added, and features state of the art security.

About Lera Smart Home Solutions

Lera Smart Home Solutions is a leading installer of smart home technology in the greater Sydney region. Our team boasts over 20 years’ experience in IT networking, programming and the electrical industry.

We have sourced the most reliable and cost efficient solutions from around the world to provide the very best in smart home solutions, and work with our clients to understand their needs.

You can learn more about transforming your house into a smart home here, or contact us directly for further advice.