Smarthome devices, which allow the remote monitor and control of home features, are a booming industry with major players and mass adopters. Automation technologies have been around for decades (recall The Clapper), and consumers can still purchase separate technologies to control thermostats, sprinkler appliances, or door locks.

These days, smarthome hub systems are available to manage disparate functions through one centralized interface that can be accessed on a user’s smartphone or tablet. Homeowners and renters alike have taken notice. They want smart home devices for lots of different reasons, but security and energy management are among the most significant. Experts suggest the global home automation market will be worth over $121.73 billion by 2020.


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Get to Know the Lingo

There are several keywords used for this evolving industry:

  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Home automation 
  • Smarthomes or smart homes
  • Intelligent homes
  • Automated homes
  • Wired homes
  • Connected homes

Reasons for the Home Automation Boom, in a Nutshell

“…the [home automation] market, experts agree, is growing, and rapidly. This growth is driven, in part, by the rising tablet market. Smarthome DIYers have increasingly found the tablet as an effective remote control to manage all of the systems commonly found in a smarthome. Additional drivers include the decreasing costs of smart technologies; increased government regulation regarding energy consumption; increased energy costs; increased consumer awareness of, and concern about, the environment; and consumer security concerns.”

Source: The Smart Home: Intelligent Home Automation (Entrepreneurial Insights, Aug. 22, 2014)

The Basics

Smart Home and Internet of Things FAQ (Center for REALTOR® Technology Labs, Feb. 2018)

Smart Home Simplified (Center for REALTOR® Technology Labs, Feb. 2018)

How to Make Your House a Smart Home (The New York Times, Aug. 8, 2017)

The Ultimate Guide to Building Your Own Smart Home In 2017 (Forbes, May 22, 2017)

Smart Homes for Beginners (Popular Science, Apr. 11, 2017)

Six Benefits to Home Automation (SenSi, July 2015)

The Advantages of a Smart House (SFGate)

How to Get Started

Get Started with the Smart Home (The Ambient, Jan. 4, 2018)

Building a Smart Home with Apple’s HomeKit (Wirecutter, Jan. 2, 2018)

The Best Smart Home Devices of 2018 (PC Magazine, Dec. 1, 2017)

How to Get Started with an Alexa Smart Home (c|net, July 5, 2017)

How to Build a Smart Home Where Everything Might Actually Work (Gizmodo, May 29, 2017)

Home Automation Buying Guide (c|net, Apr. 28, 2017)

How to Build Your Smart Home: A Beginner's Guide (PC Mag, Jan. 2016)

How to Automate Your Home with These 8 Devices (Inc., 2016)

Benefits: Energy Efficiency & Security

The Best Smart Home Security Systems of 2018 (PC Magazine, Feb. 6, 2018)

Smart Home Tips for Saving Energy (Energy Star, Dec. 16, 2017)

Smart Circuit-Breakers for Energy-Efficient Homes (The Economist, Nov. 23, 2017)

10 Tech Products That Will Save You Money on Your Utility Bills (Reviewed, Aug. 25, 2017)

What's the Best Smart Home Security System for You? The Ultimate Guide (Realtor.com, May 22, 2017)

How Smart Homes Help Energy Efficiency (CTA Blog, Dec. 2015)

Smart Homes: Focus on Security and Efficiency (REALTOR® Mag, July 2015)

Top 10 Benefits of Automating Your Home (Freshome)

Home Automation for Seniors or Disabled

10 Smart Home Features to Help You Age In Place (CBS Money Watch, Oct. 10, 2017)

The Octogenarians Who Love Amazon’s Alexa (MIT Technology Review, June 9, 2017)

How a Smart Home Empowers People with Disabilities (NBC, May 9, 2017)

Improving Safety for Elders and Disabled: Smart Homes and Assisted Living (Imperial Journal of Interdisciplinary Research, 2017)

Security Issues With Home Automation Systems

Consumers Are Holding Off On Buying Smart-Home Gadgets Thanks to Security and Privacy Fears (Business Insider, Nov. 15, 2017)

7 Ways to Keep Your Smart Home From Being Hacked (Market Watch, July 13, 2017)

Study Highlights Security Vulnerabilities in the Smart Home (CNET, Apr. 2015)


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