Smart Devices a Critical Entry point to IoT Ecosystem


No longer simply intelligent appliances in the home, smart devices are becoming key entry points into the massive Internet of Things (IoT) value chain

As the smart devices are facing pricing pressure, services are where the money’s at. As smart functionality makes its way into homes and businesses, two devices are gaining a foothold into broader ecosystems to maximize growth and revenue opportunities: smart speakers and smart meters.

Common challenge and long-term opportunities

No matter the type of smart device, device makers face the same challenge that is to keep costs down while increasing functionality. The IoT is transformational for connected devices, and vendors large and small are vying to be part of the market.

Many, like Google and Amazon, are selling their devices at or below margin because they understand the long-term opportunity lies in the applications and services these devices make possible.

Smart speakers: Growth ahead and a strong concept

According to IHS markit research report by the end of 2021, there will be an installed base of 328 million smart speakers and revenue is expected to reach $11.2 billion, up from $6.3 billion in 2018

Smart speakers, which enable voice-based media playback, smart home control, telephony, messaging, e-commerce and informational queries, use a range of connectivity options to leverage artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud capabilities to enable an ever-increasing range of IoT devices.

The smart speaker concept is powerful when it leverages large, established ecosystems where there are broad app and development support across devices and platforms. These ecosystems allow the speakers to access diverse information and e-commerce resources and to receive support from other smart home devices.

Smart meters: expanding capabilities

By the end of 2021 according to the IHS markit research report, there will be an installed base of more than 1.13 billion smart electricity, water and gas meters and over 188 million smart meters will be shipped in 2023, generating $9.5 billion in hardware revenues.

Basic utility meters only monitor power usage, limiting the ability of utility companies to interact with end consumers. Smart meters expand the capabilities of utility companies by providing more regular and informative data, allowing better usage analysis, time-of-use rates and subsidies, leakage warnings and more.

Smart meters are revolutionizing the way utilities and consumers interact, enhancing capabilities beyond the ‘meter to cash’ process. Smart meters will be an increasingly critical entry point into utility ecosystems aiming to create more intelligent, efficient and cleaner electricity networks.