MegaTrends – Making Home & Work Smarter

MegaTrends shed light on how different industries are collaborating together to shape a new future society.  Read MegaTrends to gain a glimpse as to what products or services will become standards in the near future.

Technology Industry MegaTrends



Smart Appliances


Smart Security


Ambient Experiences



The next global MegaTrend is smart home and work technology. Juniper Research reported that smart home technology is expected to reach $71billion by 2018.  Their study also reported the key driver for sales in this sector is entertainment.  Although there are many companies in the smart appliance market, it would be difficult for one company to dominate market share.

On the other hand, another market research firm, Allied Market Research (AMD) valued the market at $4.8 billion.  The discrepancy on estimates is credited to the shear difficulty in measuring the market depending upon which verticals are included in the calculation.  For example, adding Smart TVs into the model, which Juniper Research did, significantly changes the market value because the large size of smart TVs market.  The entertainment vertical accounts for up to 80% of the total smart home market revenue according to Juniper Research.

On the other hand, counting Netflix in the smart home market, as AMD did, also seems inaccurate.  Therefore, the market calculation as of late has been imperfect leaving room for another valuation.

Among some of the most influential verticals as of recent include smart appliances such as vacuums, refrigerators, thermostats and smoke alarms. Another important vertical with many market entrants is smart security systems.  Finally, other companies have specialized in providing the homes with ambient experiences.  Each of these segments are relatively fresh in the market are at the beginning of truly gaining market traction.  With the many competitors arising, the future is set to be a true competition for those who will earn consumer trust and loyalty.

Comcast released a study that showed that the most popular smart home purchases are interconnected cameras (62%), lighting (54%), thermostats (54%) and smart locks (49%).


1. Smart Appliances

According to Mind Commerce Publishing, one of the main values of smart appliances is a reduction in overall lifecycle costs of the product as well as lifestyle optimization.  Among the product types are thermostats, washer/dryers, microwaves, vacuums and refrigerators among others.

The technologies used into these smart appliances systems are Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Zigbee, Z-Wave, and NFC among other operating systems like iOS, Android, Azure and Tizen.  Rapid advancement and integration of these technologies is making these products increasing more functional and easier to use by consumers. Data collected from these appliances are most often in real-time and analyzed for immediate response.

According to Amazon Web Services, projected unit sales for smart home devices are 29.9million in 2016 and 35.9million in 2017. This projection includes thermostats, networked cameras, door locks, water leak detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, light bulbs, switches, plugs/outlets and power strips.


2. Smart Security Systems

In a study by Comcast Xfinity, among the greatest preferences of consumers for the home or work security systems are internet connected video camera (53-58%) and monitoring notifications received via mobile app (50-64%). Some of the lesser important features is voice control (12-14%). This same study also revealed that drivers for smart security are personal and local.  Break-ins and crime in the neighborhood inspires residents to purchase a security system with the main purpose of keeping the family safe.  A main purpose for purchasing a smart system in particular is the convenient feature of automated lights.

Smart home technology has greater adoption rates among higher income households particularly those earning greater than $100,000 per year with Generation X leading the way.

3. Ambient Experiences

Ambient experience is defined as those technologies that fuse seamlessly into the ambient environment, are least likely seen but subconsciously affect the individuals.  Some of these technologies include lighting, projection and sound).  Phillips describes that ambient experience can influence spatial design and workflow improvements.

These technologies have particularly affected the healthcare industry positively. For example, typically patients tend to enter the hospital environment frightened and anxious.  Ambient experience technologies can bring “comfort to an otherwise stressful time and [seek] to alleviate patient anxiety.” Like out of a futuristic movie, patients can personalize their surroundings with relaxing images in their environment. Other non-patient specific results include a potential for improved throughout and increase efficiency.

In the home, ambient experiences have made impact with smart ambient lighting dominated by LED technology. The smart lighting industry is expected to grow to an $8.14 billion market by 2020 with a compound annual growth rate of 22% between 2015 and 2020 according to Market and Markets. Some of the major players in this segment include Philips, Acuity Brands Lighting and General Electric (GE).


These trends are relatively new but are expected to grow as value becomes more obvious and technologies become more mainstays.