Smart Technologies

Conventional smartphones, laptops and other communication devices have witnessed saturation and the global growth has witnessed significant decline in the growth rates over the past few years. Conventional technologies are increasingly being replaced by smart alternatives, featuring connectivity, innovative applications, and artificial intelligence for independent decision making. Moreover, inclination of industry participants and consumers towards these technologies is expected to transform the global landscape of consumer products, home products, and business solution over the forecast period. Such state of the art technologies are presented as part of this segment study.

Smart Home

Smart home products can be broadly categorized into lighting control, security & access control, HVAC control, home healthcare, smart kitchen, and entertainment. Lighting control is expected to present major growth opportunities over the forecast timeframe, owing to its ability to reduce energy consumption through the incorporation of smart sensors in order to optimize the intensity according to the natural light. However, entertainment industry held the largest share, given the extensive range of products under this segment. Growing living standards have led to increased convenience requirement, and advent of smart entertainment systems that integrate multi-room systems control to regulate audio and other media controls through centralized systems. Industry is characterized by large number of product innovations that enhance living experience. Some of these include:

Thermostats: Provides the ability to control the temperature of air and water in the homes through smartphones, tablets or computers. Some of the recent models have incorporated artificial intelligence that helps it to suit according to users habits and preferences and also save costs accordingly.

Smart Kitchen: Smart Kitchen products have provided increased convenience to monitor the cooking processes when away from homes, through smart products that can be remotely monitored and controlled via connected devices. Products such as iKettle 2.0, Belkin’s WeMo series are few of the innovative instances of the smart kitchen products. Samsung’s smart fridge is another product that enhances the usability through its incorporated display featured with whiteboard, web browser, calendar and inside view.

Security & access control: Security and access control include the equipment that help people enhance security through restricting unauthorized access to information, through both virtual and physical channels. Danalock V2, Tile Mate, Skybell HD, and Dojo Pebble are some of the noteworthy novel security and access control products that enhance the home security from any form of physical and virtual attacks.

Other miscellaneous home automation products: Automated vacuum cleaners, social robots, centralized power control devices, smart scales for fitness tracking, lawn mowing robots, and universal remotes to control any remote controlled device are some of the other home automation products that have gained traction in the recent past.

Growing per capita disposable income has in turn led to increased demands for high end products and increased convenience at homes. Moreover, introduction of advanced automated products to enhance user comfort will provide the necessary boost to the demand growth over the forecast period.

Smart Consumer Products

Smartphones, tablets and laptops are expected to witness flat growth trend over the near future. However, smart wearable electronics that include implantable devices, smartwatches, smart jewelry, fitness trackers, smart clothing and head-mounted displays are expected to present substantial growth prospects over the forecast period. Smartwatches accounted for over half the revenue share of wearable devices segment in 2016. Moreover, products such as smart eyewear and head-mounted displays are expected to further gain traction, with introduction of augmented/virtual reality. Along with enhanced gaming experience these products are expected to find huge applications in designing architectures phobia therapies, emergency response training, and among others. Chief global players that include Apple, Samsung, and Facebook are taking strategic initiatives to establish foothold in this industry segment. For instance, in July 2014, Facebook completed acquisition of Oculus Rift for around US$ 2 billion., Increasing incidence of data loss and security breaches over the last few years has positioned data security as a major concern for the populace. Given the proliferation of connected devices, the data security is expected to present potential growth challenge for the industry participants. Thus, providing enhanced security will play major role for the players to gain competitive edge and gain strong foothold in the industry.

Smart Industries

Utilization of cyber-physical systems and industrial robots integrated with internet of everything (IoE)with smart learning capabilities are expected to gain major traction over the following years. Moreover, reduction of human errors, high precision outputs and long working cycles of these portfolios will garner major profitability for end-use industries. Use of 3D printing in the manufacturing of automotive and other equipment is also expected to provide substantial leverage to the industry production and margins. According to Capgemini’s Digital Transformation Institute, Smart Factories could increase the global economic productivity to US$ 1.5 trillion by 2022, and double the average profit margins. Some of the major players in the industrial automation segment include ABB Ltd. Fanuc Corp., Yaskawa Electric Corp., Adept Technology, and Apex Automation and Robotics.

Smart Utilities

Increasing global population in turn increases the strain on existing resources and is expected to present significant challenge to the overall utility industries. Advent of different communication means, software, and smart meters have enabled safe and measured utilization of resources such as gas, water, and electricity and cope up with their increasing demands with minimal effort and associated costs. These smart meters allow for accurate consumption measurement and on-demand remote access to related information. Owing to its advantages, the technology has gained global acceptance, and government bodies are expected to significantly increase investments for their installation. For instance, the U.K. government has mandated installation of smart meters in every household in England, Wales and Scotland by 2020. This unprecedented national infrastructural project is expected to enable better energy efficiency of systems in Great Britain.

Smart Agriculture

Smart agriculture encapsulates precision farming, livestock farming, fish farming, greenhouse, orchid farming, forestry, and horticulture as its sub-segments. These methodologies have gained wide scale acceptance in developed economies and are projected to find major potential in emerging economies over the forecast period. Smart agriculture incorporates next generation technology to monitor and control different aspects to enhance the end harvest. Yield monitoring is among the major applications expected to present huge growth potential. It entails monitoring field information that includes soil properties, fertilizers, and weather conditions. Agricultural drones have gained significant consumer favorability, owing to its ability to display issues concerning irrigation treatment, distressed plants and soil variation at relatively low costs. This is enabled through incorporation of GPS modules, MEMS sensors and digital radios in the agricultural drones.

Some other smart innovations include the smart renewable power systems, neuromorphic chips (by Qualcomm) and Microscale 3D printing (still in development phase). These advancements are likely to positively impact the smart technology landscape over the next few years. Trends such IoT, AR/VR, machine learning, automation, and physical digital integrations to enhance the technology applications are projected to be witnessed across the major industrial segments to strengthen their global positioning and drive growth.

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