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Understanding Smart Technology Business Opportunities

The Future of Smart Home and Business Technology for Contractors

According to Business Insider’s research service, the number of smart home devices shipped is expected to jump from 83 million in 2015 to 193 million in 2020. Is your business prepared to service this growing customer base?

The demand for smart equipment and sustainable building is rapidly increasing with the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT). Integration of smart technology is much more effective early on in a building project, which places contractors like you in an essential role.

Whether you’re an electrician, HVAC tech or plumber, it is your responsibility to clearly understand the needs of the home or building owner, and recommend a solution(s) that makes smart home technology possible and easy to install.

What Does a Smart Home Look Like Today?

Smart home and business devices can range from safety and security systems, to home energy equipment, to lighting, to thermostats. Yet, having a smart home or building is not simply classified as having the technology—it’s also about how the devices interact with one another, and how the home or building owners use it. Whole-home systems are likely the future of “smart home.”

With the rise of smart home technology and the integration it requires, contractors need to have a continuous pulse on the changing market. As problems and opportunities arise with smart home technology, artificial intelligence and the IoT, being able to anticipate changes will allow you to make informed decisions in your customers’ best interests.

While you may have a thorough grasp on your role with smart home technology today, trends change, and you need to be aware of industry forecasts to stay ahead.

The Future of Smart Home Technology

Below are some of the upcoming trends in home technology you and your team of contractors should anticipate.

Artificial Intelligence is Everywhere

Alexa, Amazon’s virtual assistant, complete with artificial intelligence (AI), is spreading to smart home products outside Amazon’s reach. At Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2017, Alexa-powered products dominated.

Below is a list of smart home products Alexa will be integrating with in 2017.

These are just some of the products to be aware of in 2017 as you work with your customers to integrate smart tech into their building projects. With the rapidly changing smart home space, it could prove crucial to stay on top of Alexa-powered products.

IoT Product Development Becomes More Targeted

While early IoT product development seemed to play a part in every consumer device, from toothbrushes to coffeemakers, companies are gaining a better understanding of practical applications for consumers. The future of the IoT will be driven by what truly solves a problem for consumers.

Have you ever been grocery shopping and can’t remember if you already have something in your fridge? Most of us have. That’s where smart refrigerators come in, which can take a snapshot of your refrigerator to access through your mobile device. This is an example of smart home technology that solves a widespread problem.

IoT Security Threats Increase

As the IoT industry grows and these devices become more commonplace, many industry conversations will center on security. IoT engineers are becoming aware of this problem already, and industry experts are calling for change. For example, Professor Shiu-Kai Chin of Syracuse University's online Master of Science in Cybersecurity would like to see a system of certified security by design for IoT.

According to the 2015 Icontrol State of the Smart Home study, 71 percent of consumers fear that their personal information may be stolen from these devices. In fact, consumers are more worried about a data breach than the cost of technology.

Being ready for these market shifts and having a full view of the industry’s future will allow you to anticipate and understand your customer’s questions and concerns as they arise. With the rapidly increasing market, offering expertise in this field can help grow your client base and guarantee work in the future for both smart technology clients and a sustainable consumer base.