SmartHome at IFA builds on the rising popularity of the smart home category in retail

Walk into any big consumer electronics retailer today and you’ll find an aisle or more dedicated to smarthome products. Smart home, according to some retail experts, is the hottest category in the shops — powered by the IoT, voice control and AI

The vision of the seamlessly connected home is now coming together as a big hit for retail, but two men saw this several years ago when Global Fairs/TT-Messe CEO Jan Nintemann and Günther Ohland, president of SmartHome Initiative Deutschland e.V. launched the SmartHome pavilion at IFA.
The SmartHome pavilion serves as a bridge for retailers and distributors of consumer electronics to cross over into the smart-home category. Physically it is located adjacent to Reseller Park, another Nintemann project with a 20+ year history of finding innovations for IFA business visitors. There are 70 exhibitors between the two projects.

“At SmartHome Initiative Deutschland e.V., our role is to foster the idea of SmartHome,” Ohland says. The world’s most successful smart-home standard, KNX, anchors the SmartHome pavilion. KNX Association has concluded partnership agreements with more than 75,000 partners in more than 164 countries worldwide. It has 400 members with 7000 products on the market. “ S m a r t H o m e h a s reached the mass market.
Increasingly more consumers want to use smart products to increase the security of their homes, improve comfort and, of course, also save energy. Systems for professional installers and products for self-installations are competing with each other on the one hand – yet on the other hand they complement each other. Which existing products can be upgraded? Which systems are interoperable?” adds Ohland.

Parks Associates says that by 2021 more than 10 million smart-home controllers will be sold in the US, and more than eight million will be sold through retail and related channels.
A new survey in the US by ReportLinker says purchases may include connected appliances (20% of mentions), smart thermostats (16%), smart security systems (12%) and smart lighting (10%).
To fill the growing need, consumer electronics brands large and small are developing smart-home technology in existing devices, as well as adding new stand-alone products. And an emerging field of startups hopes to develop new types of smart-home devices, which will monitor your baby and your pets, play your music, water your garden, clean your home and make sure you take your medicine. French hardware company Netatmo recently partnered with Velux on connected windows that, using sensors, will open or shut depending on the weather.
All this spells big business for consumer electronics sales channel: the global smart home market is expected to reach an estimated $92.4bn by 2023.

» HALL 11.1 / Stand 124