Retail will drive smart home sales, says Juniper Research

smart-home-ecosystems-(1)Smart home hardware sold as standalone units rather than as part of a subscription package will exceed 300 million units in 2020, according to a study by Juniper Research. This represents growth of over 1,000% from an estimated installed base of 28 million units in 2015, according to the research group.

According to Juniper’s Smart Home Ecosystems & the Internet of Things: Strategies & Forecasts 2015-2020 report, retail initiatives are likely to play a crucial role in driving smart home sales due to a current lack of consumer understanding of the smart home value proposition. Juniper believes that the dominant home automation business model will not veer towards subscriptions until sufficient hardware is in place to build smart services on top.

The group also said that open platform efforts including SmartThings and Wink have helped drive progress, while Deutsche Telekom’s Qivicon platform showed that service providers that traditionally have favoured closed systems are now seeing the benefits of open platforms.

“There’s light at the end of the tunnel,” said research author Steffen Sorrell. “Open approaches certainly help move the connected home towards a smarter one. However, the consumer still needs to be convinced: that will be the job of retail to solve, and that’s a question of educating both employee and consumer.”