Home automation is emerging as a major field of technology and has witnessed rising demand in recent years. Home automation refers to technologies that automate the functions of various systems used in residential complexes, such as lighting or HVAC. These systems and appliances comprise a major part of the total energy consumption of a building and careless use of the same has been calculated to contribute immensely to the growing problem of power shortage. Instead of generating extra power to compensate for these losses, conserving it through the smarter use of appliances has emerged as a more promising field.
The global home automation market was valued at US$4.4 bn in 2014 and is expected to be worth US$21.6 bn by 2020 With a booming 26.30% CAGR from 2014 to 2020. The market is led by North America, due to the easy availability of high-quality networking tools in the region. Europe is also a major regional market for home automation technologies and, collectively with Asia Pacific, holds a 40% share in the market. Rising consumer awareness and increasing disposable incomes are expected to make Asia Pacific a prime contender in the global home automation market in the coming years
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Home automation technologies can now often be used via smartphones and commonly available wireless technologies such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, which has made them affordable and accessible for the multitudes. Here’s an overview of the major residential systems in which home automation is making a steady entry:
Lighting is a major part of a household’s energy needs and is a necessity in every single room of the house. Thus, it is also a major part of the home automation scenario. Smart lighting not only conserves energy by automatically shutting down when not in use, but can also be dimmed according to the ambient lighting conditions and remotely turned off from your smartphone.
Thermostats and Air Conditioning
Temperature control and air conditioning are aspects that are usually manually controlled according to the user’s comfort. Smart thermostats and air conditioning units, on the other hand, ‘learn’ the user’s behavior and can thus automatically switch on and off and adjust the temperatures just as the user would do it normally. They also provide current energy consumption figures to users and can also adjust the ambient conditions of a residential building According to the climatic conditions.
Smart refrigerators and smart washing machines are also now emerging on the global home automation market. Smart refrigerators can keep track of the freshness of the food contained within them and alert users if any of it is about to spoil. They can also adjust their energy consumption according to their load, helping cut down on energy consumption massively. Models of many other appliances are now being equipped with such smart features.
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The leading companies present today in the global home automation market include Honeywell International Inc., AMX LLC, Johnson Controls, 2GIG Technologies, Crestron Electronics, Inc., ADT Corporation, Siemens AG, Vantage Controls, Control4 Corporation, iControl Networks Inc., and Schneider Electric SA.