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Ezlo Innovation 2020 Predictions: Smart Home and IoT

VMblog Predictions 2020 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2020.  Read them in this 12th annual series exclusive.

By Mark Samuel, CEO, Ezlo Innovation

2020 Smart Home and IoT Predictions

"We expect to see 20 billion internet-connected things by 2020."

Gartner said it back in 2017, and the IoT industry has had it playing on repeat, printing it in publications all over the world ever since. But, now that 2020 is upon us, has this prediction lived up to the hype? The short answer is yes.

According to Strategy Analytics, at the end of 2018, there were more than 200 million homes globally with at least one smart home device. The market is predicted to reach $100 billion this year and grow more than 50% to $157 billion by 2023.

Let's dig into three key predictions around where the smart home market is headed in 2020 and beyond.

2020 will be the year of IoT data privacy.

The topic of data privacy began making regular headlines in 2017 as a result of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which was followed closely by the enactment of EU's General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and California's Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) in 2018.

The firestorm continued in 2019 due to headlines such as "Amazon reportedly employs thousands of people to listen to your Alexa conversations" and "Apple's hired contractors are listening to your recorded Siri conversations, too", creating a watershed moment for consumers seeking to protect their personal information.

In 2020, consumers will begin to pressure developers to build more data privacy protections into smart home devices, ensuring that personal information remains secure. IoT devices can produce massive amounts of data, much of which is personal and sometimes quite sensitive.

Smart home OEMs will integrate or frustrate.

The rise in popularity of smart speakers in recent years has been a boon for the smart home industry; however, consumers are beginning to fully realize the limitations of such devices, as many of them don't integrate with smart locks, sensors, and other security devices. The lack of integration and interoperability within the smart home space means many users are forced to utilize several different apps, and two or more hubs in order to control their various devices.

This level of fragmentation degrades the customer experience and drives consumers away from the promise of home automation that the industry made decades ago.

In 2020, consumer frustration will reach tipping point. Either we as an industry step up to the challenge, or we will lose mindshare in this space for another decade.

Consumer choice in smart homes will become harder to find, unless you know where to look.

2019 saw the closing-or acquisition-of several small and medium-sized players in the smart home industry. Some large companies, such as Wink, now seem to be in trouble, too, and the Series A startups are having trouble securing funding.

As the demand for smart home devices increases, traditional companies will need to meet consumer demand by integrating smart capabilities into their already existing products through partnerships with smart software solutions, leading to an increase in smart home adoption industry-wide in 2020 and beyond.

The smart home segment will face significant hurdles in 2020, with developers up against increasing regulatory oversight around data privacy and security, and consumers growing desire for integrated devices and a cohesive smart home solution. However, the industry is still poised for growth and has the potential to overcome these challenges with a concerted effort from the top smart home players.


About the Author

Mark Samuel 

Mark Samuel is the CEO of Ezlo Innovation. With expertise in strategic planning and digital consumer systems, he has Ezlo focused on initiatives that will transform the home automation landscape. Most recently, Mark served as the CRO at Cirrent, which was sold to Cypress Semiconductors in 2018, and as the COO/EVP at Savant Systems. He has overseen three acquisitions in the last 18 months, with more to follow.

Published Friday, January 03, 2020 7:32 AM by David Marshall
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