According to a recent report by research firm ABI Research, smart applications shipments will soon begin to pick up and will eventually exceed 24 million units by 2017. Similar to the market for home energy management systems (HEMS), the smart appliances market has, so far, failed to take off as many had expected. Many products are still involved in small pilots and have failed to hit retail outlets in any large number, says ABI Research.
With smart meter deployment growing apace, energy costs following a seemingly upward trajectory, and progress made on improving interoperability of all aspects of the smart grid , it is only a matter of time before shipments gather momentum, says ABI Research (Oyster Bay, N.Y., USA). However, it is likely that it will take a couple of years for ultra-premium price tags to erode and for dynamic pricing structures to become more widely implemented in order to titillate consumer demand.
The number of major appliance manufacturers that have used recent trade shows as launch pads for new products is a sure sign that the market may soon see substantial growth.
“LG Electronics , for example, along with fellow South Korean appliance manufacturer, Samsung Electronics , are two of the first companies to have already brought a comprehensive range of smart appliances to market,” says Craig Foster, senior analyst, home automation and M2M at ABI Research . “Whirlpool, BSH, Miele, and Electrolux are among the other leading players to have unveiled one or more smart products.”
Additionally, the number of households with utility-provided HEMS will increase from an estimated 2.5 million households in 2011 to 36 million households in 2017.
“In the early stages of the HEMS market, an almost unanimous perception existed that utilities would lead the way in terms of the deployment of these solutions,” says Foster. “However, utilities are now widely considered to have acted much slower than many anticipated, allowing many other routes to market to develop.”