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Smart Building Conference: Watch out – the Smart Home is coming

Within the next decade and a half, many people will be living in smart homes, but many providers are not prepared for this revolution.

That was the conclusion of Daniela Tenger, researcher at Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute (GDI), a Swiss-based think-thank that conducts research into consumer trends.

Tenger was delivering the closing keynote at the Smart Building Conference at ISE 2016. Her speech, ‘Smart Home 2030: How digitisation is changing the way we build and live,’ was based on a GDI study.

“Last year, we talked to providers in Switzerland – such as architects, electricians and real-estate traders, about the smart home,” said Tenger, “we also researched market trends. We think the results apply to European markets generally. We found that although providers were aware of the smart home, they did not see it as a disruptive technology – there was a gap between what is possible and what people think will happen.”

This is partly because the smart home debate has tended to be about the technology and not the services it will bring, added Tenger.

“The smart home is not about gadgets in the home, but the convenience it will bring in how we build and live. It’s a bigger picture.”

Market fragmentation is also causing some complacency: “Providers see that today’s smart home market is flooded with gadgets, but nobody knows what is good. We will see integration happening in the market, so consumers won’t have to handle tons of apps.” Tenger sees the smart home market consolidating into five or six major players, such as Apple and Google. Three things will drive the smart home market, added Tenger: “Safety, especially for Europe’s ageing population.

Smart homes will enable older people to live on their own. It will also help us live a greener lifestyle, with energy saving. It will also make our lives more convenient. Imagine a smart lock that lets the postman deliver a parcel when you’re not at home. This will be the reality for
future generations.”