It’s All Connected: The Leading Providers of Smart Tech for the Home
If there is an array of smart technology in your home, you’re not alone. Roughly 175 million households worldwide have at least one high-tech device, according to Comfy Living, a provider of furnished short-term housing. An estimated 63 million U.S. homes will feature smart technology by 2022 as manufacturers continue unveiling the latest personal assistants, home security features and cleaning gadgets.
With consumers spending more time at home, demand for cool home tech products is reaching new heights. Let’s look at a few manufacturers bringing this technology to the marketplace.
Thanks to its robust lineup of products that include the Roomba line of robot vacuums and Braava brand of robotic mops, iRobot Corporation (Tii:IRBT) is a popular provider of today’s home-based tech. The tech manufacturer recently added to its product mix, unveiling a series of educational gadgets designed to teach kids how to code while having fun in the process. Like many others, iRobot is dealing with supply chain challenges due to the pandemic disrupting chipmaking operations in China last year. Despite those issues, revenues for iRobot’s second quarter ended July 3rd grew 31% on healthy demand from North American retailers.
With five brands in its portfolio with more than $1 billion in sales each, Whirlpool Corporation (Tii:WHR) is more than a 109-year-old global appliance manufacturer. The company behind KitchenAid, Maytag, and its namesake Whirlpool brand also has a robust lineup of smart appliances that enable users to set, start, pause, and monitor laundry and kitchen appliances via smartphone or voice command. Users can receive personalized recipe guidance through Whirlpool’s free Yummly app and send instructions straight to its smart ranges and wall ovens. Citing sustained consumer demand and cost-based pricing initiatives, net sales for Whirlpool’s 2021 second quarter increased approximately 32%.
A major player in the smart home market, Alphabet Inc. (Tii:GOOG) offers a full suite of high-tech gadgets for the home. Google Nest Hub allows users to watch streaming video, control thousands of compatible smart devices, sync family members’ calendars, control lights, lock doors, set alarms, and more. Google Chromecast plugs into any TV or monitor with an HDMI port, allowing users to stream content onto the big screen from their phone or computer. Thanks to its $3.2 billion buyout of Nest Labs in 2014, Alphabet made additional inroads in the smart home devices business – producing a sizeable lineup of smart thermostats, doorbells, cameras, smoke detectors, locks and more.
Taking a holistic approach to home connectivity solutions, Vivint Smart Home, Inc. (Tii:VVNT) offers a soup-to-nuts suite of integrated smart home devices that include security sensors, doorbells and indoor cameras, locks, lights, garage doors, thermostats, speakers and more. Vivint serves approximately 1.7 million customers throughout the U.S. and Canada. Benefiting from the demand for smart home devices, Vivint’s subscribers grew by 20.1% to 60,127, a record high for its first quarter. Revenues for the period increased 13.2% to $343.3 million.
Let’s not forget Amazon.com, Inc. (Tii:AMZN). The global tech giant has come a long way in the smart home business since launching its Echo smart devices in 2014. The company’s smart products run the full gamut of gadgets that would make any tech geek giddy – smart locks, security cameras/systems, thermostats, detectors and sensors, plugs/outlets, vacuums and mops, sprinklers, and even color-changing lightbulbs with Bluetooth connectivity.
The global smart home market size is expected to grow from $78.3 billion in 2020 to $135.3 billion by 2025, according to MarketsandMarkets, a provider of B2B research. Drivers for this anticipated growth include the proliferation of smartphones and smart gadgets, expansion of smart home product portfolio, growing concern about safety, security, and convenience. As long as this trend continues, expect an increasing number of mundane household items to receive high-tech, connected upgrades.