Who is “Smart Home” and why is it needed?

By the end of 2020, Russia may be in the top 15 countries in terms of market volume for smart home solutions. These are research resultsconducted by experts of the Analytical Center under the Government of the Russian Federation on the basis of predictive statistics and estimates of the expert community.

In M.Video-Eldorado, sales of smart home devices in 2020 reached record volumes and grew 7 times in units and 3.5 times in money. The best-selling products of 2020 from the smart ecosystem are: smart socket Yandex YNDX-0007, smart light Yandex.Lamp YNDX-00010, smart remote control Yandex YNDX-0006, IP camera Xiaomi Mi Home Security Camera 360 (MJSXJ05CM ), Xiaomi Mi Smart Power Plug (ZNCZ05CM).

The demand for speakers with a voice assistant increased 17 times in money, and here the majority of sales fell on devices with a virtual assistant Alice. The best-selling models in the two networks were Yandex.Station Mini, Yandex.Station and Capsule from Mail.ru.

Taking into account the unrelenting demand for “smart” technology and the explosive dynamics of sales, we invited for a thematic conversation under the roof of the newfangled Clubhouse in a discussion room titled “Who is he and why is he needed?” several experts from M.Video, Yandex, Sberbank, Mail.ru Group, Xiaomi and other companies at once.

Conversation recording is available link… Brief theses and key thoughts of the invited speakers under the cut.

Smart Gadgets Market – Scotch Paradox

More and more household appliances are becoming “smart”, ie. having access to the Internet. These are kettles, irons or refrigerators that can be controlled from a smartphone, and all kinds of “smart sensors” that ensure the safety of homes, reporting probable leaks, smoke, excess gas levels in the air, opening doors or entering the house. Smart speakers and video cameras are no less popular.

Also, a variety of “smart locks” appear on the market more and more often, easily solving the problem of lost keys. Not to mention the emerging market for smart pet feeders.

Pavel Zemskov, manager of the product category “Gadgets and Innovations” in the M.Video-Eldorado Group:
─ In fact, you need to define the criteria for being smart. Today you can easily buy sockets with remote control, plug them into the network and now you have so-called “smart sockets” in your household.

Generally speaking about the popularity of “smart devices”, so far, in my opinion, there are not many of them on sale. But demand is developing very dynamically. In terms of product categories, I would note the popularity of “smart sockets”, bulbs, control panels.

Wylsacom, popular tech blogger:

– In my opinion, today in Russia there is no established market for “smart devices” yet. In our country, a lot of people rent housing. It is not profitable for them to install stationary solutions. It is easier for them, in the event of a move, to remove their “Smart House” from the tape and move it to a new home.

The paradox is that people who are able to pay for “smart solutions” are terribly far from them, and those who are interested in such devices have no money for them.

The most adequate, in my opinion, format is separate gadgets that are installed into existing sockets, or glued onto tape so that you can always take them with you.

Timur Seyfelmlyukov, author of the Zavtracast podcast and resident of the community “Who is he and why is he needed?”:

─ Considering that today a lot of Chinese companies are developing “smart homes”, many devices, including those on the Russian market, are still tied to software and clouds on Chinese servers.

Even buying devices, for example, Xiaomi, they may not be on the list of Mi Home located on the Russian server, and then you have to launch the devices through Chinese servers.

Boris Romanets, Head of Development at Xiaomi in Russia and the CIS:

─ I recommend buying certified smart devices from official stores. So you guarantee their work on Russian servers, and also get a local guarantee.

As for the market, it is customary in our company to use an integrated approach. Today we strive to connect all “smart devices” to smartphones. At the same time, we are seeing an increase in the category of “smart air purifiers”. Now it is more relevant than ever. Sales are up dramatically.

“Smart home” – where to start?

Many manufacturers offer their customers ready-made and custom-made smart devices and services, specialized wireless smart hardware, sensors and software. Choosing something really worthwhile from a huge assortment is not a trivial task. What should you pay attention to first of all and what characteristics can you not be distracted by?

Pavel Zemskov, manager of the product category “Gadgets and Innovations” in the M.Video-Eldorado Group:
─ In general, “Smart House“Can be compared to LEGO. But without being an expert, it is difficult to unequivocally decide where to start construction, it will be something along the line of security, video surveillance or electricity.

If you just want to have fun, you can buy 5-6 smart bulbs. If you need something more serious, consider a powerful hub and router. In the case when you plan to connect all devices directly via Wi-Fi, I would recommend that you focus on more powerful devices… A lot of gadgets from Philips, Rubetek and other manufacturers need to connect to smart hubs.

Also, I would like to draw your attention to one more thing: when the electricity goes out, your “Smart Home” ceases to be such. Very soon, a router with a built-in SIM card will enter the market, which can work autonomously, thanks to which the management of your “smart infrastructure” will become more stable.

Boris Romanets, Head of Development at Xiaomi in Russia and the CIS:

─ If you want to experience all the delights “Smart home»On yourself, just go to the site M.Video-Eldorado to the section “Solution kits»And choose the most suitable set of devices. Moreover, as a rule, this does not require any special skills when installing equipment.

If you have a lot of money, you can always find a suitable developer. Today, some developers, already at the design stage, literally starting from the foundation, are thinking over the laying of such an infrastructure.

When you live in a rented apartment, start with one thing, like lighting. Buy a light bulb, download the app. All you need is two bills from your wallet, which are unlikely to greatly affect your family budget.

Wylsacom, popular tech blogger:

─ There is a Home Kit, Alice, various Google services, there is Xiaomi, which are actively developing and integrating with other assistants. Now it has become more or less clear. And the price is adequate and the range from which you can already choose something.

How to connect and configure smart gadgets?

Experts note that ergonomics will be the most important word in 2021 when applied to smart home devices. The key to the success and popularity of smart home devices is ease of connection and user-friendly control interfaces (voice, gestures, algorithms).

Wylsacom, popular tech blogger:

─ In general, there are two approaches: you figure it out yourself, how it all works, then you build everything with your own hands for yourself, and then it doesn’t cost any cosmic money. Or you choose a turnkey solution and then be prepared for the fact that all this will be very expensive.

In general, in my opinion, the most important stage in the evolution of smart home technologies is the ability, presented by device manufacturers, to customize algorithms, when a chain of actions occurs at some command. This is quite convenient when, for example, you say: ─ Alice, turn off all the lights! And several actions are activated at once, for example, windows are closed, a smart vacuum cleaner is turned on, and so on. Everything is intuitively simple and clear.

Pavel Zemskov, manager of the Gadgets and Innovations product category at M.Video-Eldorado Group:

─ You can go to a specialized page dedicated to “smart home” on our website and get all the information you need. In addition, YouTube and other sites have a ton of reviews and recommendations.

Also, in any M.Video-Eldorado store, you can get comprehensive advice from our experts – in many of our stores there are demo zones with various elements of the “smart home”, where they can be tested.

Bright “smart future”

According to analysts agency J’son & Partners Consulting, despite the impact of the pandemic, COVID-19, the global market for Smart Home solutions will continue to grow steadily (according to Statista, the average annual growth rate in the period 2020-2025 will be 17.9%) …

Market growth is forecasted in all key segments of Smart Home solutions, the highest growth rates are expected in Comfort and Lighting, Security, Control and Management systems.

Wylsacom, popular tech blogger:

─ Actually, a big leap took place after the development of voice assistants. Probably one of the first who started to popularize the topic ─ it was Amazon with their Alexa. Then Google connected and then on an increasing basis. I think that the upward trend in the popularity of smart gadgets will continue.

Alexey Boomburum Shevelev, evangelist of Habr.com:

─ We need to have a symbiosis of hardware and software manufacturers. For example, in any case today you will have to pour powder into a “smart washing machine”. All her “cleverness” ends with the washing mode in your mobile application. It would be nice to load 40 capsules with automatic washing gel into the washing machine at once, select the desired program and everything works. In the meantime, we have to cope in a partially manual mode.

By the way, during the pandemic, I was keenly thinking about the need for a “smart refrigerator”. Although, the current models can be called such rather conditionally. It seems to me that manufacturers of such equipment should consider integrating solutions that warn users about product expiration dates. For example, I ordered borsch, vegetables, fruits in Ya. Lavka. And honestly, I don’t have time to keep track of the delay and, accordingly, some products end up in the trash bin.

Pavel Vershinin, Head of the Smart Home Department at Sberbank:

─ Recently Sberbank announced the launch of a smart home platform. To create a simple and convenient, “smooth” interface that integrates hundreds of “smart devices” together is a difficult and non-trivial task. Speaking about “Smart Home”, we understand that most of the efforts in this area are spent on software.
We, traditionally, do not comment on long-term plans, but this is the direction in which we are definitely moving.

Nice bonus

Thank you for your perseverance and getting to the “basement” of this text. As a pleasant reward, we are happy to give you promo code for the next purchase in the M.Video network for a period until April 12

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