Sustaining Smart Home Technology Adoption

Tue, 01 Mar, 2022

The adoption of smart home devices and services has seen an uptick as technological advancements in the Internet of Things (IoT) have started to improve connected lifestyle. According to a recent report by YouGov, an international research data and analytics group, more than a third of respondents from the UAE indicated a more positive sentiment towards AI and automation compared to more mature western markets. In addition, the poll also found that there was a broader acceptance of installing smart home devices and automated transport in the UAE.

Engaging data analytics

Consumers are more aware of the world around them because of IoT connectivity and intelligence. The capacity to monitor and check on the status of their home from afar leads to better engagement and a more loyal consumer. Voice-based assistants and voice-first gadgets, for example, have improved user experience. Simplifying the user experience by giving a convenient and familiar interface across products helps to boost retention rates among the surrounding smart home ecosystem.

The insights obtained from such data exchanges is crucial. Data analytics is a critical component in enhancing the user experience. The long-term promise of smart devices is that they can use data analysis tools and techniques to better understand the user's context, discover consumer habits and attitudes, predict consumer demands, integrate advanced analytics across wider ecosystems, and take prompt measures on the user's behalf.

Companies, meanwhile, are constantly looking at new ways to use data to improve the customer experience. For example, DAMAC has been leveraging the latest technologies to facilitate consumers to manage their home appliances, lightings, etc on their mobile device. Currently a work in progress, DAMAC plans to offer its residents smart home automation through the DAMAC Living App where they can control their AC, lights, digital locks and home appliances through the app itself.

According to research firm Guidehouse Insights, the global market for smart home IoT devices is expected to record 18% growth over the next 10 years. The revenue generated from this boost is also expected to increase to more than a $100 billion per annum by 2029, from $24.8 billion in 2020.

Seeing from afar

In addition to smart homes, virtual reality (VR) is also rapidly gaining traction in the real estate industry. This technology is taking over the entire spectrum of real estate transactions, from virtual property staging to property displaying. According to estimates by Goldman Sachs, the market for virtual reality (VR) in real estate alone could generate as much as $2.6 billion by 2025.

The pandemic, too, has played an important role in advancing the use of VR and AR in home showings. With social distancing guidelines and constant rule changes affecting movements, virtual tours have provided buyers with a chance to be on location without physically being on location.

DAMAC was one of the first property developers in the market to offer its residents, tenants and prospective clients a 360-degree view of the ready-to-own apartments. Utilising VR and AR technology, DAMAC had also in early 2020 launched a unique concept called ‘A La Carte Villas’ at DAMAC Hills, which enables buyers to personalise multiple aspects of their homes, including villa type, layout, landscaping, interiors, and furnishings, among others using a cutting-edge configuration app.

And with the recent launch of DAMAC Lagoons — the Company’s third master development in Dubai — customers can already get a look and feel of what it's like to live there through the VR feature on its website.

The future

As with anything new, adoption of such technologies is easier said than done. But, with the right approach and understanding of customers’ needs, we can deliver a multi-network, multi-device system that is sustainable, safe and secure. This also makes way for potential new business opportunities and business models to emerge.

Through consumer-centric design principles in the development of smart home technologies and services, we will not only be able to ensure wider acceptance of such systems and their economic benefits, but also usher in an era of mass adoption of smart technology in real estate.

-Jayesh is the Chief Information Officer at DAMAC Properties. He has 21+ years of demonstrated experience in spearheading and maintaining Information Technology in global multinationals and regional industries in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Oceania.