A revolution in sensing capabilities will be fundamental to the next wave of smart home automation and adoption, enabling smart home systems and consumer robotics to better match resident preferences alongside wider issues such as environmental impact and energy demand.
However, the demand and comfort among consumers for how data is captured in the home will shape which sensing technologies win out.
ABI Research forecasts that by 2027, 4.6 billion sensors of various types will ship embedded in smart home devices, robots, and appliances, up from 1.8 billion in 2021.
Some of these sensors are already key to the functionality of devices, while others support additional functionality that will push into more products as manufacturers and service providers look to improve the appeal of their offerings.
Jonathan Collins, smart home research director at ABI Research says alongside longstanding demand for microphones and image sensing, air quality, ambient light, water flow, and moisture sensing will all see significant adoption over the next five years.
While the market for sensors is a broadly horizontal one, smart homes and the wider consumer market will be of growing value to players such as Bosch Sensortec and TDK Invensense.
Smart home device manufacturers will have to determine which specific technologies will meet their system or system partner's demands for functionality, cost, power demand, and more.
The ABI report examines fifteen types of sensors, from motion and moisture to LiDAR and biometrics, and the technologies leveraged across them to determine which smart home devices and systems are best suited for which sensors.
Connectivity expands in the home
A single sensor for something such as lighting levels or motion could be leveraged across a range of applications to support home environment management from automated lighting and window shading, heating, cooling, and more,” explained Collins.
She added that the upcoming Matter specification for device interoperability will further influence sensing data availability across smart home systems.
“The best-positioned sensor technologies will deliver detailed insights into the home environment without driving concern regarding resident privacy and control. This will hamper image and biometric capture and favour lighter, less intrusive data capture,” concluded Collins.