As more devices and appliances connect to the internet and can be controlled remotely, homes are getting smarter and more responsive to owners’ needs. The capabilities and prevalence of smart home tech will only continue to grow as adoption spreads. Understanding the key trends and predictions shaping the smart home industry is essential for consumers looking to make their homes smarter, as well as manufacturers and installers targeting this market. The following are some of the top smart home trends you should know that will define the coming years and the future of smart living.
Trend 1: Wider Adoption
While still a relatively new technology, smart home devices are rapidly gaining widespread consumer adoption. As more everyday appliances like lights, thermostats, and door locks add connectivity and smart features, consumers are recognizing the convenience value these innovations provide through automation and remote control.
Ease of setup through platforms like Amazon Alexa and Google Home that allow unified control of devices from a single hub or with voice commands has also enabled faster mainstream adoption. As prices come down and capabilities improve, adoption will only accelerate. According to Statista, a leading global statistical database, over 57% of US households are expected to have at least one smart home device in 2025.
Trend 2: Explosion of System Integrations
According to IoT Analytics, a leading provider of market insights and strategic business intelligence, the latest industry report shows that Internet-connected devices are proliferating rapidly – IoT endpoints grew 18% last year to over 14 billion globally. With projections of 16% growth this year to 16.7 billion active endpoints, our homes are filling up with smart gadgets. To prevent a fragmented mess, tech giants are scrambling to improve integrations.
As more and more of these Internet-connected smart devices enter our homes, people want them to work together smoothly. Major tech companies like Amazon, Google, and Apple are rapidly improving the software integrations that connect everything in a unified system. They’re creating universal protocols so devices from different brands can communicate and be controlled through one central platform or hub.
In the next couple of years, we’ll see an explosion of integrations between smart home technologies as companies form partnerships and align systems. It’ll become seamless to monitor and control your various networked gadgets using a single voice assistant or app. The huge growth expected in IoT devices makes this drive to integrate them crucial. The smart home experience depends on having all these technologies mesh together in a way that makes sense.
Trend 3: Voice Assistants Everywhere
Voice assistants like Alexa and Google Home are being built into more and more smart devices and appliances, allowing voice control of almost everything in our homes. According to a study from the National Institutes of Health, the adoption of complex voice assistant applications in smart homes could be promoted through interdisciplinary research and business models that address user concerns around safety, privacy, and data security.
Given the high technological maturity of smart home systems, the NIH recommends companies craft business models that position VA-related products and services as beneficial and safe. However, significant challenges remain regarding privacy protections and data safety.
The NIH identified smart homes, assisted living/medical applications, and digital forensics as areas of business opportunity for voice assistants. Though currently small, they expect digital forensics using VAs to grow significantly in the coming years as an increasingly important capability for governmental bodies and society.
Overall, with advances in natural language processing, voice control will proliferate as users appreciate the convenience and responsiveness it enables. According to Statista, about 75% of American households will use a voice assistant by 2025 to control almost everything in our living spaces.
Trend 4: Natural Language Processing Advances
Driving expanded voice assistant capabilities will be advanced in natural language processing. With neural networks and deep learning, the AI behind smart assistants will continue improving their ability to understand natural speech patterns and commands.
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, natural language processing techniques are being utilized in smart home systems to support voice control capabilities. NLP allows users, especially the elderly and disabled, to control things like door locks, lighting, temperature, alarms, and appliances through voice commands.
Some examples of NLP enabling smart home voice control include:
- A home automation model using IoT sensors and NLP for voice control of devices like locks and thermostats, allowing disabled residents to control their environment by voice.
- A lighting control system using Raspberry Pi and NLP-based voice recognition to let users remotely switch lights on/off by voice, which is helpful for the elderly and disabled.
- A Google Assistant module linked to IoT devices through a node microcontroller, enabling smartphone control of smart appliances by voice.
- An IoT-based smart home architecture using NLP to process natural language commands, with a focus on improving security and user authentication.
As NLP continues to advance, it will drive more conversational voice control systems for smart homes that promote independence and ease of use, especially for those with disabilities. Voice control is becoming an essential feature of smart homes thanks to rapid progress in natural language processing. We can expect smart assistants by 2025 to feel more conversational and human as natural language processing sees dramatic improvements.
Trend 5: Smarter Appliance Functions
Appliance makers are also capitalizing on the smart home trend by introducing models with added connectivity and intelligence. We are seeing smart features get incorporated into major appliances like refrigerators, ovens, washers, dryers, and more. This includes internal cameras, touchscreens, and apps to control appliances remotely.
According to Energy Star, smart home appliances are becoming more popular while still being energy efficient. Refrigerators, dishwashers, washers, dryers, and air conditioners that are ENERGY STAR-certified use less energy but provide new features for convenience and potential energy savings.
Some smarter capabilities of these appliances include:
- Getting alerts if your refrigerator door is left open to prevent energy waste
- Viewing the contents of your fridge remotely via a camera to avoid constant opening
- Scheduling laundry and dishwashing during lower-cost off-peak electricity rates
- Clothes dryers automatically adjust cycle times based on sensors to optimize energy use and prevent over-drying
- Turning room ACs on and off remotely via smartphone if you forget before leaving home
These connected smart appliances also come with future-oriented “smart grid” capabilities that could support a more reliable and sustainable electric grid. As appliances get smarter, they use energy more efficiently while offering homeowners more control and convenience.
New models also have advanced functionality powered by AI, like recommend cooking instructions and other features that simplify chores. It’s expected that almost all major appliances will come with smart capabilities as standard by 2026.
Trend 6: Further Price Declines
Like most new technologies, prices for smart home devices have been dropping rapidly in recent years as production scales. This trend will continue over the next five years as the market expands and IoT technology matures.
Market research from GfK in 2023 reveals that prices of smart home products in major European markets spiked during the pandemic owing to surging demand, only to decrease in 2022 as cost-of-living pressures reduced consumer spending and demand. Another contributor to declining prices is the increased commoditization of smart home technologies, which has lowered the cost of adding intelligent features. According to GfK, prices of smart home devices dropped 14% in Europe in the year leading up to April 2023, returning to pre-pandemic levels.
As the smart home market grows globally and IoT technologies mature in the coming years, experts forecast similar cost decreases in the US market as well. Plummeting prices will enable smart home devices to reach wider budget ranges, permitting consumers across income levels to enjoy smart living conveniences. For those seeking to make their abodes more intelligent, the roadmap ahead points to progressively affordable smart home solutions.
Trend 7: Expanded DIY Installation
Along with shrinking prices, smart home devices are becoming easier for the average consumer to install themselves without professional integration. A growing number of devices will be available by 2025 that are truly plug-and-play without needing to be hardwired into a home.
Matter, launched in 2022, is an open-source connectivity standard that enables devices to communicate like a universal language over WiFi. Matter makes it easier for consumers to set up and integrate smart home devices from different brands with less hassle. Created through an alliance between Amazon, Apple, Google, Samsung SmartThings, and others like Ikea, Infineon, LG, NXP Semiconductors, and Texas Instruments, Matter acts as a royalty-free translation layer between devices. For DIY homeowners, this means simplified installations, fewer compatibility headaches, and happier spouses.
As tech advances make homes safer, more efficient, and enjoyable, the DIY smart home market stands to benefit greatly from Matter. With this universal standard reducing the complexity of connecting disparate devices, DIY smart home adoption will accelerate. Frustration-free integration enabled by Matter will lead to fewer anxious calls to helplines, more seamless experiences, and greater consumer delight. The launch of this open connectivity protocol marks a major milestone in empowering homeowners to easily build smarter dwellings themselves.
With easy DIY installation, smart home tech will become accessible to everyone. Tech-savvy homeowners on a budget can implement these innovations without hiring a costly installer.
Trend 8: Increased Focus on Security
According to Forbes, realizing edge AI capabilities for smart homes would significantly advance consumer privacy and overall home security. Improvements to latency, processing, and more advanced sensors enabled by edge intelligence will better protect homes.
For example, edge devices could easily distinguish between household members, ignore potentially dangerous commands from children, contact emergency services during medical crises, and alert residents if an unrecognized person enters. In the longer term, a symbiotic relationship between devices allows them to “borrow” intelligence, like gas sensors opening windows or lights locking doors.
However, with current privacy concerns, smart home tech needs to balance perceptiveness and tact. Edge processing removes reliance on cloud data transfers, posing little privacy risk since data can be dispensed with once used, reducing exploitation.
Industry groups are working to standardize security protocols across all connected devices. You will also see companies promote security features and safeguards like two-factor authentication and encryption to ease consumer security fears as this focus increases. Security will increasingly become a selling point.
Trend 9: Sustainability-Focused Tech
Eco-conscious consumers are demanding smart home tech that saves energy and supports sustainability. According to the National Association of Realtors, examples of green smart home devices include:
- Smart thermostats: Can optimize temperature settings and be controlled remotely to reduce heating/cooling energy use, cutting home consumption up to 15%. This saves energy and lowers utility bills.
- Smart lighting systems: Automatically turn lights on/off based on occupancy and daylight, which prevents wasting electricity on unused lights.
- Smart sprinkler controllers: Water lawns based on weather data and moisture levels to cut water waste. This conserves water, an increasingly precious resource.
- Smart window shades: Optimize sunlight and heat gain throughout the day to improve insulation. This reduces energy demands for heating/cooling.
- Energy monitoring systems: Provide real-time insights into appliance electricity use to inform conservation efforts. This enables users to modify behaviors and reduce energy waste.
- Smart curtain controllers: They can open and close curtains automatically according to sunrise/sunset or time schedules to regulate light and temperature, which improves energy efficiency.
Appliances will also become greener through connectivity that allows remote maintenance, reduces servicing needs, and prolongs lifespan. Solar integration and smart power management to optimize the usage of renewables will expand. And the smart home of the future will be green by design to align with consumer climate priorities.
The smart home revolution is just getting started. Home automation will become mainstream in coming years as prices drop and tech advancements expand possibilities for convenience and intelligence. These home innovations will reshape how we live.
Understanding the key trends – expanded adoption, system integration, voice control, smarter appliances, and more – provides insights into where smart home tech is headed. By 2025, smart homes will be commonplace and affordable, with a solution for every lifestyle and budget. All industry players should use these predictions to guide strategies and take advantage of the opportunities ahead in the flourishing smart home market. The future of automated, connected living is unavoidable.