What’s next for smart home living?

22/03/2024 by Ali Sajwani

Real estate is in my blood. For as long as I can remember, my father incentivised my siblings and me to develop our understanding of Dubai’s property sector, challenging us to identify trends and predict where the market is heading.

He also encouraged us to develop our own interests, chief among mine being technology. From the early days of the internet to the proliferation of mobile devices and, more recently, artificial intelligence, I’ve witnessed the advent of myriad innovations that have reshaped society during my lifetime.

With this in mind, I doubt you’ll be surprised to learn that I’m fascinated by smart home solutions – a field that straddles my passions for real estate and tech. Not only do I follow advancements within this sector closely, but I also enjoy learning about the ingenious ways in which innovators continue to integrate these technologies into our homes seamlessly and holistically.

While smart home capabilities have progressed rapidly in recent years, I believe this is just the tip of the iceberg. Here are the themes that I expect to dominate this dynamic sector over the next decade.

Health and wellbeing at home

Health is becoming a key component of smart home living, as innovators look to leverage the world’s most advanced technologies to enhance our physical and mental wellbeing. I expect this trend to continue over the coming years, especially as advances related to the Internet of Things (IoT) enable more devices to communicate with one another.

Just imagine how smart home technology could drive capabilities related to wellness tracking, which provides real-time data on sleep quality, nutrition, stress levels and more. For instance, what if your home gym equipment, kitchen appliances and smartwatch collaborated to provide comprehensive insights into your fitness, nutrition and wellbeing?

Indeed, the digital health market is projected to register an impressive compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.16% during the period 2024-28, reaching a market value of approximately $275 billion within the next four years. Smart home innovations are likely to represent a key driver of this growth, thanks to their ability to enhance both the delivery and efficacy of health-related technologies.

Unprecedented integration

Health may be of growing importance when it comes to smart home tech, but it is by no means the only focus for innovators. The integration of innovations within our living spaces is driving advancements across a diverse range of other areas, from how we secure our properties to the way we enjoy their amenities.

Again, IoT capabilities represent a major driver of this shift towards truly integrated smart home tech. From cutting-edge energy systems to state-of-the-art kitchen appliances like refrigerators and coffee makers, our homes are increasingly hosting complex networks of interconnected, sensor-enabled devices that are working together to create optimised living experiences.

Smart security and surveillance systems are also likely to grow in popularity over the coming years as cameras, motion sensors, door and window devices, and alarm systems combine to create safer environments for occupants. Consider for a second how quickly video doorbells have been adopted by the wider market. Now imagine how rapidly home security capabilities will evolve once each property features an army of connected smart devices.

From robotic cleaners to integrated AI-powered virtual assistants, homeowners around the world are welcoming innovations that enhance convenience, comfort and security. Indeed, the global market value for integrated systems stood in excess of $26 billion in 2022, and is expected to expand at a staggering CAGR of 18.4% during the period 2023-30. Integration, it seems, is the future.

Sustainable living

Last but certainly not least, I believe sustainability will continue to influence the direction of smart home tech development.

For instance, environmental monitoring capabilities, powered by integrated innovations, will allow homeowners to track everything from indoor air quality to humidity levels and more. Integrated waste management tools, such as smart bins and composting systems, will empower us to reduce, reuse and recycle. Meanwhile, water conservation technologies will also become more prevalent, helping to conserve this precious resource and reduce utility bills.

As with health tech and integrated systems, sustainable smart home innovations represent big business. The prioritisation of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and environmental, social and governance (ESG) commitments look set to drive a CAGR of 19.5% for green tech during the period 2023-32, culminating in a global market value of $83 billion within the next eight years.

I fully expect many of the sustainable smart technologies currently being pioneered in the corporate world to find their way into our homes sooner rather than later.

These are just a few of the broader smart home tech trends that I predict will gain further traction over the coming decade. However, for me, the most exciting characteristic of this sector is its refusal to conform to our expectations.

As Managing Director of DAMAC Properties, Founder and CEO of Amali Properties, and Co-founder of PRYPCO, I pride myself on my ability to anticipate market changes and evolving customer requirements. As such, I’ll be watching smart home-related developments with great interest over the coming years to see if my predictions prove accurate.

At the same time, one of the main reasons I love the fields of real estate and tech so much is that both sectors still have the power to surprise me. So, I’ll be equally excited about the emergence of any trends that I haven’t anticipated.

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