The COVID-19 pandemic is upending many traditional models across multiple industries. It is also changing the way people live and conduct their daily lives. As you can probably imagine, with so many lockdown orders in place around the world, more people than ever before have rediscovered the joys of being at home. Whether they are now working at home on top of living there or they are merely spending more time inside because of the pandemic’s stranglehold on the travel industry, one thing remains true among all cohorts: Smart technology is enabling this transition and, in many ways, is making it more painless than many would have imagined.
Central to the transition to working at home is the use of teleconferencing technologies and other modern conveniences that, until now, had largely remained the domain of the commercial space. But consumers are embracing more than just webcams, they’re adopting smartwatches and appliances into their daily lives in a way that manufacturers hadn’t anticipated before. One of the primary themes of the first wave of smart technologies for the home is smoothing the shift from a strict work/life separating to a more integrated model. And, while productivity-oriented smart technology dominates the headlines, the rise in the use of smart technologies specifically for home management and maintenance is experiencing the most robust growth.
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Indeed, many industry watchers think this segment could become the dominant aspect of the smart technology niche in the coming years. From monitoring electricity usage to security cameras, fire alarms, and others, smart technology for the home easily integrates with apps on smartphones, tablets, and smartwatches to give homeowners a level of control over their homes that were previously the realm of science fiction.
Xiaomi, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of smart technology for the home, noted that some 70% of consumers they surveyed had made changes to their homes during the pandemic with a full 50% purchasing at least one smart device during that same period. Concurring with the above reference to an “integrated model” for working and living, Xiaomi’s survey found that three out of five people questioned indicated that their spaces had done just that with over 60% reporting that they purchased at least one smart technology device to aid with this transition. Such a shift doesn’t just present an opportunity for smart technology manufacturers, either.
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In fact, many predict that the biggest boon will go directly to firms providing the technology and infrastructure for fast, secure Wi-Fi and Internet access as more and more demands are placed on bandwidth with more devices utilizing home networks previously built for more lightweight usage. A consensus sentiment that has emerged as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing lockdowns is that many of the changes introduced will not be temporary but deciphering what is more permanent will be the test of companies seeking to profit off of this trend.
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