Smart Homes: Cost, infrastructure, culture gap pose challenges in India – CNBCTV18
The advancement of artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) has shown immense potential for creating a connected home ecosystem. A smart home is a technology-enabled house, equipped with devices that can send information and take commands.
Users are increasingly adopting home automation systems like IP-enabled cameras, object motion sensors, security alarms, window blinds, doorbells and connected door locks that are providing enhanced home safety and security in addition to energy efficiency.
Smart home market
In India, the home automation market is being driven by the growth of the urban middle class and the rise in disposable incomes. According to a Statista report, the Indian smart home market is expected to increase two-fold from $3 billion estimated in 2020, to around $6 billion by 2022. Globally, the smart home market is set to grow to $53.45 billion by 2022.
Reasons for growth
A number of factors are driving the concept of smart homes in India. Affordable access to internet connectivity and smartphone penetration across India are two primary reasons contributing to the overall growth in the IoT market. Indian government initiatives like Make in India and Digital India campaigns are also influencing the adoption of smart devices at homes. Besides this, the younger demographic and aspirational households are also driving home automation.
A number of brands are providing wire-free solutions that integrate seamlessly into the existing infrastructure and help the customer transform old appliances into smart ones at a small price.
Yet, some prominent challenges remain in the domain of home automation.
One of the biggest challenges for smart home automation is replacing traditional building structures. Apart from the internet, smart home automation requires supporting infrastructures like smart power grids, smart building management systems, smart drainage and sanitation and smart water supply.
Also, internet connectivity and reliability are unpredictable in many places in India. In cities, the connectivity is often insufficient to propel smart devices.
Home automation takes a backseat due to high cost of products. Most Indian consumers are very selective in investing in convenience and technology. With less emphasis on the requirement or necessity of home automation, people with lesser incomes are unable to relate to smart technology powering one’s home. The price difference between smart devices and traditional devices makes them less popular even though it can save up to 1-15 percent energy.
A thing of luxury
Home automation is still considered a domain of the uber rich in the Indian market. The huge costs also make it difficult for an average earning individual to invest in. Although people in rural areas of India are acquainted with the internet, introducing them to complexities of a smart home will take time.
(Edited by : Shoma Bhattacharjee)
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