CES 2024 is less than six months away, and in advance of the world’s largest and most influential consumer technology showcase, Retail Technology Insider is exploring some of the top trends and stories that are shaping the consumer electronics industry.
The list of the top 50 “best-selling” electronic devices on Amazon is filled with smart solutions for the home. From speakers that can play streamed digital music without wires, to smart doorbells that enable homeowners to see everything happening outside of their front door, the top sellers on the Internet’s largest marketplace are smart home devices intended to make the average household more convenient, entertaining, and safe.
But this interest in smart home devices is visible outside of Amazon’s “Top 50.” It was obvious simply by scanning the list of exhibitors at last year’s CES. There were more than 240 smart home solutions being exhibited at CES 2023, including technologies that incorporated 5G, robotics, smart sensors, and almost anything else needed to comprehensively outfit and secure the connected home.
The companies with solutions on display at the show ranged from some of the world’s largest and most-established smart home companies, including ADT, Johnson Controls, Schneider Electric, and Siemens. But there were also smaller and emerging smart home companies demonstrating incredibly innovative solutions designed to make life easier and more convenient. That included BenjiLock, whose CEO and Founder – in a recent episode of CES Tech Talk – explained that he found more than he anticipated at CES 2020:
This year’s CES 2024 is poised to once again show off the hottest trends in home office productivity, home security, and smart home advancements. But are homeowners as invested in the smart home as those manufacturing these devices? Or have the “tech champions” and “early smart home adopters” artificially inflated the market for smart home devices?
Well, a study conducted by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) shows that the increased convenience that comes from turning lights on and lowering the temperature in a room without leaving the couch is clearly still a draw for consumers. And, while the adoption of smart home devices has skyrocketed, it’s not poised to slow down in the coming years.
According to the CTA, the organization behind the annual CES, approximately 85.6 million U.S. households – about 70 percent – own at least one smart home device. But even if a consumer hasn’t purchased a smart home device yet, they may be contemplating it. The same study showed that 73.2 million consumers, or 60 percent of the U.S. market, plan to buy smart home products in the next 12 months.
But which types of smart home solutions are they looking for, and what types of smart home devices are poised to be bit hits at this year’s CES 2024?
Security and audio-visual (A/V) lead the pack
As per the findings in the aforementioned CTA study, consumers are flocking to purchase smart home devices in the security and A/V categories. This most likely coincides with the rise in streaming music and television, as well as the increase in “porch piracy” and a need to feel more secure and safe in the home.
CTA’s study shows that smart A/V products lead the market, with more than half of consumer households owning one. Approximately 51 percent of smart home device owners purchased products from this category first, making connected A/V tech the gateway into the smart home. However, the category’s growth has seemingly slowed, as household penetration has remained stagnant since 2019.
Smart home security is second in product ownership, growing by 10 percent since 2019. Products in this category are becoming more mainstream, and continued growth is anticipated, as “safety” and “peace of mind” are regarded as top drivers for owning smart home technology.
Anticipate that smart A/V products and increasingly intelligent home security products will continue to be stars at CES 2024, as they remain some of the most desirable smart devices to consumers. They’ll also most likely be joined by solutions for the home office and smart parenting solutions that are increasing in demand and poised for growth.
But there are things that consumers want out of their smart home devices aside from the ability to easily play tunes, and the peace of mind of knowing who’s at the door…
Automation, accessibility, and ease of use
The conceived difficulty of deployment remains a barrier keeping many less “tech-savvy” consumers and homeowners from making the leap to smart home solutions. To help combat this, anticipate a new generation of solutions on display at CES 2024 that are made with easy setup and interoperability in mind. This includes an increase in solutions leveraging the open-source connectivity standard, Matter, that promises to ease setup and increase the interoperability of smart home devices.
Also, as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) gain traction – and as consumers become increasingly comfortable with the technology – anticipate that a new generation of smart home devices that leverage these technologies will take center stage at CES 2024 and beyond. This includes smart home solutions that use AI and ML to learn homeowner preferences and anticipate their needs and requirements.
Finally, anticipate a new generation of smart home solutions at CES 2024 that will demonstrate that manufacturers are listening to consumers looking for products and solutions that can be customized to accommodate disabilities and preferences with software that is void of cultural predispositions.
Exhibitors demonstrating smart home solutions capable of meeting these requirements can anticipate a lot of interest at CES 2024. Smart home devices are near the top of the most interesting technologies, according to potential attendees – falling just behind AI and digital health solutions. Overall, more than 13,000 attendees with an interest in smart home solutions, representing more than 119 countries, are anticipated to attend CES 2024.