Smart Home Products for 2019 Will Need More Security Features
As the 2018 year comes to an end, we reflect on the advancements that were made in smart home technology throughout this year. Phones, tablets, and laptops no longer dominate the technology space. Over the past few years, we’ve seen a large increase in sales of smart speakers. As time has gone on developers have gotten more creative, giving almost every device in our homes the capability of integrating seamlessly with our smart speakers.
The phrase “smart home technology” used to fill our brains with the idea of items from movies and TV shows such as The Jetsons or Back to the Future. We only ever dreamed of products such as those featured in the aforementioned shows. Gifting an internet connected device has for years been a relatively simple process. You would perform a basic internet search, go to the store or purchase the item online and then set it up in a relatively quick process.
Consumers Research Their Products Before Buying
Fast forward to 2018, and we now understand that it takes more research than ever before to determine which product is right for you and your home. Factors such as types of software the device supports, installation logistics and fees, and more need to be taken into account. What was once futuristic gadgets are becoming everyday realities. Unless you’re aiming for an extreme smart home makeover to the caliber of these individuals in this article here, no longer do we consider smart devices to be luxury items. Most likely, you will start off with a basic speaker and work your way up.
The smart category has become a rapidly expanding market filled with endless gift options. While products such as the Amazon Echo, the top-selling item of the 2018 Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend are great alone, they can be even more powerful when working cohesively with the other devices in your home. From digital thermostats and lighting to security systems and small appliances it’s as simple as saying “Hey [Alexa, Google or Siri], do this” to avoid ever having to leave your couch. There are now more than 1 billion devices that have access to various voice assistants. The simplicity that multiple device integration offers is what is driving the increase in the sales of such products.
Bigger Competition to Come in 2019 Along with More IoT Devices
With all of this new technology being designed that connects to the internet, Google and Amazon are in a heated race to dominate the smart technology market. Amazon’s rapid acceleration of the number of skills Alexa has recently surpassed 50,000. This puts pressure on Google as their assistant currently supports fewer skills and devices than its competitor. Because of this, we predict that there will be steady competition arising as we speed into the 2019 year with more devices supporting multiple software systems.
Along with this rise in competition, we can likely expect to also see an even greater increase in integrated devices. Finding creative solutions to common homeowner issues will likely be solved by devices that incorporate automatic settings that can predict your typical motions and behaviors. For example, a product that sets your home to an ideal temperature when it detects through your GPS that you are on your way home or a security system with facial recognition could be the next big items. Any product that has the capability of supporting homeowners needs will likely drive high sales.
Privacy and Security are Concerns
Another prediction for 2019 is a larger conversation forming around the vulnerabilities that these devices could potentially expose their users too. For those who are opting not to purchase smart home devices, it’s common that they are hesitant to purchase due to the fear that their privacy is being violated by a device that is listening in on them. Because everything works off the internet, this fear extends further into data privacy and new or unexpected opportunities for cybercriminals. Protecting your smart home device with strong antivirus software has always been important, but it’s likely that we may begin to see more devices operating off of virtual private networks than in years past.
It’s important that the key players in the market prepare themselves and their customer service departments against these types of cyber attacks. Fear of leaked passwords and home robberies could become a more serious threat as these devices rise in popularity and cyber attackers gain more knowledge. With the recent data breaches we’ve seen over the past year from companies such as Google+, Facebook and Target, we know more than ever how important it is to protect your personal information online. It’s equally as important however that these smart home device companies put these concerns as a top priority in the development of new products for 2019.