It’s been a busy year for smart devices. Over the last 12 months, we’ve seen a rise in popularity of smart home products, driven by the widespread adoption of smart phones and the increased functionality these devices offer. Not only do they make our lives simpler by doing many of the tasks we used to have to do manually, they also make the tasks themselves more convenient. As a result, in 2022 we’re seeing a rise in interest in products that simplify our lives and make us more efficient as human beings. This is especially apparent in the realm of smart home devices as manufacturers are looking to capitalise on this growing trend and develop niche products that satisfy our growing appetite for simplicity.
In January 2021, Amazon’s Alexa hit the one billion active monthly users milestone, with 1.3 million being in the UK alone. This was a significant milestone for Amazon, demonstrating the growth of Alexa as a platform and the consumer demand for smart home devices that rely on voice input. Since then, Amazon has expanded Alexa’s appeal to non-tech audiences, such as business users, with its Alexa For Business service.
In 2022, we’re seeing a rise in interest in Alexa-enabled smart home devices. Although voice-activated assistants have been around for a while, it was only in the last 12 months that brands started capitalising on this smart home trend and started developing products that integrate with Alexa. Not only are these devices more convenient as they don’t require us to type in codes or search for items on a smartphone app, but they’re also more efficient as we don’t need to allocate extra brain power to thinking tasks. Plus, since they rely on AI and machine learning, they’re always getting smarter and adapting to new tasks and scenarios. As a result, in 2022 we’re seeing an increase in the number of Alexa-enabled devices within our homes, with more and more products integrating this popular virtual assistant into their design.
This trend is being reflected in the market too, with the smart home market worth £20.4 billion in 2022 according to the UK’s Digital Marketing Body. The figure represents an increase of 7% compared to 2021 and is expected to rise to £23.5 billion by 2025.
It’s one thing to have an oven that switches itself on when the time comes to cook, but how about a fridge that automatically stocks the fridge regardless of whether we use it or not? In 2022, we’re seeing this type of fridge take centre stage as the industry strives to create fully automated kitchens, where the devices themselves will take care of all the chores, so we can sit back and relax.
This increasing reliance on automation is being driven by a number of factors. First, the rise of voice-controlled assistants means that we don’t necessarily need to look at screens when ordering products or preparing food. Second, the increasing use of artificial intelligence combined with machine learning to analyse our habits and shopping patterns, as seen with Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Home, means that devices can adapt and learn from past actions and behaviours. As a result, we’ll see more and more devices predicting what we might want based on our past shopping patterns and settings. Third, the industry is shifting towards making devices cheaper and more accessible, with tech-savvy millennials driving this trend and demanding more integrated, automated experiences.
This shift is being reflected in the market too. According to Statista, the global market for home appliances was worth £24.4 billion in 2021 and is expected to rise to £29.5 billion by 2027.
It’s one thing to have a washing machine you can use to clean your clothes, but how about a vacuum cleaner that also functions as a humidifier, food prep station, or room heater? In 2022, we’re starting to see the industry cater to all manner of homes, from large families to small groups of friends, by automating the most mundane activities and making them more accessible and simpler.
It’s been a busy year for smart home devices, with new products emerging, evolving, and expanding the capabilities of existing devices. We’re already starting to see the effects this innovative technology is having on our daily lives, making our chores less strenuous and more streamlined. Whether you’re a digital native or have been in digital marketing for a while, 2022 is going to be a fascinating year for smart home gadgets.