Steven ChopadeJanuary 16, 2019
Are smart home devices getting creeper with each passing day? Do you really need a refrigerator that tells how much milk you are left with for the day, or keeps track of other items in it? According to the policy and advocacy director of a not-for-profit consumer information and consumer advocacy organization, if you don’t need the so-called technological enhancements that smart devices are offering today, you don’t buy them. Yet, we see the global smart home devices market booming rapidly, and it is projected to continue to do so in the coming years.
Is privacy breach being camouflaged as convenience by smart home devices manufacturers? In 2017, a TV manufacturer agreed to pay millions of dollars in penalties for improperly tracking viewing habits of consumers. It had to settle cases with New Jersey and Federal Trade Commission officials. In China, consumers have already been warned of the location of their connected cars being shared with the government. Nevertheless, by 2020, there may be more number of connected or smart cars than “dumb” cars.
Whether you like it or not, most of the TVs shipped worldwide feature apps and are with internet connection. “Dumb” TVs have become a thing of the past. The global smart home devices market shows higher demand for smart TVs compared to dumb models. Dumb TVs can be hard to find these days – you would need to go to remote places where streaming services are a rarity or look for entry-level, off-brand models with smaller screens if you are to really find a dumb TV.
Last year, the news was flashed about a personal assistant device that mistakenly recorded a private conversation of an Oregon family and sent it to one of their contacts in Seattle. Some gadgets with voice controls take innocuous words for legitimate commands to perform tasks that breach privacy. Additionally, commands can be stored indefinitely even when voice-enabled or voice-controlled smart devices work as they should. The data can be used for personalizing experiences, which is good for smart device users; however, this can turn ugly if companies start using the data or experiences to promote their services or throw pushy ads at customers.
Despite all the negatives, the global smart home devices market is said to enjoy a successful future, considering the leapfrogging of developing countries that are still a vast untapped opportunity for manufacturers. Consumers, whether in emerging or advanced countries, may look to keep up with their neighbors buying smart devices. This sense of consciousness among consumers coupled with the powerful drug of convenience is prophesied to trigger more sales in the global smart home devices market