Maybe we’re not living exactly like the Jetsons, but we’re not stuck in the Flintstones’ era, either. A report released earlier this year from Juniper Research forecasts that revenues generated from smart home services are set to reach a global market value of $71 billion by 2018. That’s $33 billion more than 2013. As the lives of homeowners become busier, especially in the United States, many are looking for their own version of the Jetson’s Rosie the Robot to make life a little easier.
“In general, Americans feel positively toward products that will make their homes safer, more energy efficient and easier to manage,” says Kevin Meagher, vice president and general manager of Lowe’s smart home division. “People want DIY solutions that are simple and affordable.”
In a recent survey, Lowe’s found that 70 percent of smartphone users in America wish they could control something in their home from their mobile device without getting out of bed, such as adjusting the thermostat, turning on the lights or starting the coffee pot. Many also expressed the desire for a device that would help manage those going out and coming home tasks. Turning off the lights, adjusting the thermostat and locking the door are the three things most likely to be forgotten when leaving the house and nearly half of those surveyed wish the home was the perfect temperature with lights on and doors unlocked moments before they return home.
Many are also concerned with safety. The Lowe’s survey reveals that 62 percent of Americans rank security and home monitoring as the most beneficial reason to own a smart home. For parents of school-aged children, 61 percent say they plan to monitor their children in some way during school months, such as using in-home cameras and receiving text notifications when they reach home or on their whereabouts.
As the landscape for smart home technology becomes more and more favorable, many technology startups are looking to carve out their own lots within the market and one leading provider in the industry has created a program to help startups break into the market.
In September, Icontrol Networks, a leader in connected home technology and innovation, announced its OpenHome Labs program to help home startups accelerate their development and go-to-market process. Icontrol is the most widely used connected home platform in the industry. The OpenHome Labs program fosters a new level of mentorship and guidance for companies that apply and are accepted into the program. Through the program Icontrol will partner with startups to offer assistance with the basics of technology and business development. Startups in the program will also become OpenHome Certified and instantly interoperable with the Icontrol Networks and its growing distribution channel.
“OpenHome labs is a win-win – it helps us drive innovation within the connected home ecosystem and brings consumers more choices to help them build a connected home that fits their specific needs,” says Jason Domangue, vice president of ecosystem development for Icontrol. “We’re looking for startups that can launch their company directly on top of our platform and truly leverage the tremendous distribution that we have in place today with our customers.”