The UK home automation market has nearly tripled in size between 2012 and 2016, according to a report recently published by AMA Research. It is estimated that the market increased by 20% in 2016, in value terms. Although home automation systems have been available in the UK for many years, it is in recent years they have expanded from an upper market niche into a more mainstream market.
This crossover to the mainstream is a key development that is changing the structure of the market with a large variety of entry level and lower cost home automation products having been made available at very competitive prices in the past 2-3 years.
Technological advances driving the home automation market include the progress of wireless controls and “app” or application programme-driven control interfaces, which emphasize user-friendliness. Remote control of the system has meant that the consumer is increasingly able to control all aspects of the connected home from within the home, whilst travelling, at work or even abroad via smartphones, tablets and PCs. Take up of wireless routers/Internet has also benefited the home automation market, with increasing numbers of suppliers offering wireless systems based around the home Wi-Fi network.
The offering of modular systems which enable future expansion has also driven growth, and in addition, the development of systems aimed at self-installation has expanded significantly helping to substantially reduce costs and make systems more affordable to a wider market.
“Greater interest and purchase of home automation systems has been encouraged by the wider availability of smartphone app controlled devices that are now more affordable and enable greater monitoring and control of a range of devices and systems in the home” said Hayley Thornley, Market Research Manager at AMA Research. “Many suppliers of home automation systems have embraced these developments and introduced control panels with icons that resemble smartphone controls, which are deemed to be more user-friendly than some of those previously used.”
The rapid increase in availability of home automation products has led to many independent standalone systems and devices without inter connectivity. System manufacturers are working to find a standard protocol that would enable many more devices to operate across services even where devices are purchased from different manufacturers, with some opening up their operating platforms to third-party developers to encourage the development of suitable devices to fit their systems.
The market is currently considered to be in the initial growth stage, with medium-term prospects for home automation remaining positive with over 50% growth currently forecast to 2021. Growth rates are, however, expected to gradually reduce in the medium term.
The growth of intelligent heating controls is expected to continue into the medium-term, with rapid innovation likely to be the key driver, and micro-generation of energy is also likely to provide a key driver for growth in future years. More intelligent IoT devices that can make smart choices and an increase in voice control devices is also likely to generate interest.
However, ultimately the rate of uptake will be influenced by a number of factors including rates of disposable income, the extent that home automation systems are adopted by mainstream housebuilding organisations, modularity or inter connectivity of devices, ease of installation and the perception by householders of how much value the system will adds to the property when set against other choices.
The ‘Home Automation Market Report – UK 2017-2021 Analysis’ report is published by AMA Research, a leading provider of market research and consultancy services with over 25 years’ experience within the construction and home improvement markets. The report is available now and can be ordered online at www.amaresearch.co.uk or by calling 01242 235724.