Once smart homes could be seen only in diverse sci-fi movies, such as The Fifth Element or Iron Man. Now they are a trend conquering the world.
In 2018, 32 percent of Americans have reported having smart home products in their homes, up from 24 percent last year, revealing a 33 percent year-over-year increase. Globally, the number of smart home devices shipped worldwide is expected to grow from 130 million in 2017 to 477 million in 2020.
Why The Market Is Still Waiting for New Players To Join
Source: Harbor Research
Yes, the market of smart home devices is already huge, but most of the products don’t function flawlessly. What is worse, most companies do their best to release new products, and forget about maintaining and keeping up-to-date the old ones.
Interoperability is another major issue. Often customers buy new devices only to find out they’re completely incompatible with their Amazon’s Echo or Google Home. And the apps offered with them can offer user experience so poor and usually insecure it remains unclear why would they do such a product in the first place.
Besides, everyone owns a smartphone today, so the mobile applications turn out to be the most efficient way to control smart homes remotely. They are faster and more convenient to use than websites — at least 80% of users prefer apps to mobile sites. That’s general statistics, but we bet nothing is really different in terms of smart home apps.
So that’s why now is the best time to join the trend. If you don’t do this, someone else may fix all these problems and take all the credits.
Top Three Inspiring Examples That Will Make You Want To Build a Smart Home Device
We are not going to list all the available applications here, but we will tell you about the most interesting ones. So, here are several smart home apps which have already managed to succeed:
Nest, the startup so successful it was eventually acquired by Google
Undoubtedly, Nest is one the leaders in the world of smart home technologies. It is not only an app — it is an entire company which produces diverse smart devices!
The range of their products includes locks, security and pet cameras, thermostats, video doorbells, smoke alarms, and some other cool things. All these gadgets can be controlled with a special app which is compatible with most laptops and iOS and Android gadgets. Every member of a family can have a separate account to receive the notifications and keep things under control.
And the app is not only about controlling — Nest helps users to “understand” their homes. For example, it can tell a user why they and their family consumed so much energy last month. The app is updated on a regular basis, and from Play Market it has already been downloaded more than 1 million times.
Nest is a very serious competitor, but the secret of its success is an important lesson to learn. To reach the top, Nest paid a lot of attention to usability. All the smart gadgets users have at their homes can be controlled with one single app, so they don’t need to waste their time and patience on switching between applications.
One more thing is that users don’t have to program everything themselves — Nest has completely automated this process.
Alfred, an app using your old smartphone for video surveillance
This Alfred is not a tireless butler of Batman, but it can provide users with virtually the same level of security and care. Thanks to Alfred, they can deter criminals, communicate with visitors, watch their pets, and so on.
The best thing about Alfred is that users don’t have to spend money on special equipment — they can simply use their old smartphones as cameras! From both iOS and Google markets, Alfred has already been downloaded more than 8 million times.
Alfred is not the only smart home app which allows users to watch their homes while they are away, but it has become so popular exactly because of this use-old-smartphones strategy. For instance, Ring has virtually the same functions, but it requires users to purchase special cameras. As a result, the number of Ring downloads is 5 times smaller than the Alfred’s ones — it was installed more than 1 million times (from Play Market). Nice, but Alfred is still much more demanded.
By the way, Alfred is a great example of joining the trend with a limited budget. The creators of this app didn’t have to invest funds in the production of cameras. They just made up a very simple and affordable alternative which saved both their budget and money of their users.
Tile, the best key finder in 2018 (according to Tom’s Guide)
While most apps try to combine as many functions as possible, some of them focus on a single feature, and do it in a pretty successful way.
Tile is all about finding lost things: keys, wallets, bags, etc. Users simply have to attach a small device looking like a key fob to the thing they would like to track, and that’s it. The app will do the rest. It has already been downloaded over 1 million times from Play Market.
Tile is a crowdfunded project, and it managed to collect over 2.5 million dollars, while the required amount was only around 20 thousand. The reason for this success is hiding in the popularity of the addressed problem — probably, there is no person in the world who has never had difficulties with locating things.
Why The Best Time to Develop Your Own Smart Home App Is Right Now
You already know several stories of success, but we have also prepared a short list of statements to assure you that now is the right time to develop and release your own smart home application.
The market craves for facilitators, not innovators
According to Zion, the smart home market size will cross the 53-billion mark by 2022. And remember the statistics we provided in the beginning… The number of smart homes is increasing, so users will need apps to keep them under control.
The infrastructure is growing too, so even producing special smart home devices is not a problem anymore. You can find a vendor anywhere in the world — just provide the company with a scheme, and wait a bit. Developing a scheme also won’t cause a lot of difficulties — for instance, you can use Arduino.
So all the essential resources already exist in spades. You only have to manage them wisely.
The competition will remain fierce: so why hesitate?
In the previous paragraph, we have told you only about those apps which have already managed to succeed.
But they are not the only players on the market — there are enough companies which do their best to take their place in the sun. Just check the Kickstarter: there you will find such smart home projects as Nightingale, Tovala, Glow, and many others. Some of them have already been put into practice.
A growing number of startups is another sign proving that smart homes apps and gadgets are getting more and more popular.
New trends are coming: make use of them to win the market
The market is full of apps which allow controlling temperature and locks, but new trends are on their way. Experts from Forbes predict that not only homes, but also workplaces are going to become smart.
Apart from this, more smart kitchen gadgets (and apps!) are expected to enter the market. You can use these and other trends to lead your project to success.
Users adore things which can simplify their daily life, and this is a tendency which will never change. So why not to join it? Nowadays, all the resources you may need are available, you just have to manage them and be creative. Now you know how other apps managed to succeed and what problems exist on the market, so go and start working on your own project!