These days, smart home IT devices can handle nearly everything, from prepping your morning coffee and turning on lights as it gets dark to activating smart cooking and cleaning appliances that prepare your dinner or vacuuming the living room before you get home.
These smart home practices are only growing; the advanced electronics industry is banking on the fact that a lot more of us are going to go high-tech in the coming year or so.
According to the Consumer Technology Association’s report, “U.S. Consumer Technology Sales and Forecasts,” artificial intelligence (AI), voice-recognition technology and fast connectivity—critical ingredients for smart speakers, smart home technologies and smartphones—has helped spur overall U.S. consumer technology spending by 6 percent in 2018 (to $377 billion in retail sales).
Key categories projected to contribute significantly to overall unit and revenue growth include:
- Smart speakers are experiencing a meteoric rise not seen since tablets. The CTA expects the category to sell 39.2 million units, growing 44 percent in a year, and reaching 64 percent growth after only three years on the market.
- The CTA expects smart home device sales—including smart thermostats, smart smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, IP/Wi-Fi cameras, smart locks and doorbells, smart home systems, and smart switches, dimmers and outlets—will increase 43 percent.
- Whole Home Wi-Fi Solutions also known as mesh networks are experiencing substantial growth due to their simple home network set-up and ability to provide strong internet coverage throughout the home. The CTA expects these devices will cross the $1 billion revenue milestone for the first time in 2018—a 103 percent bump since 2017.
Don’t look (up) now, but the CTA says total drone sales are expected to reach 3.4 million units (an 8 percent increase) and just over $1 billion in revenue as more consumers and businesses adopt drones for photography and recreational uses.
In addition, the CTA’s report anticipates fitness activity trackers, other health and fitness devices, smartwatches, personal sound amplification products and sports tech like smart baseball bats or basketballs will reach sales of 46.1 million units.
John Voket is a contributing editor to RISMedia.