Amazon Echo Show As smart products are progressing, so is the 26

ability for these devices to communicate with other products from other manufacturers. Some used to be wrapped up in their own ecosystems that didn’t offer users the best experience and could be costly. But Mr Hazell says that since the introduction

of platforms such as IFTTT (If This Then That) and Apple Homekit, customers can do so much more with their smart devices. “I think consumers are looking for products

that are more agnostic and support many different services,” he continues. “For example, the Apple Homepod is a fantastic sounding speaker but it is locked into Apple’s ecosystem, which is why sales have not been so good. To have a platform that allows new technologies to be added via software updates is what customers are now looking for.” Indeed, Apple, Google and Amazon have

announced they are collaborating to develop an open-source smart home standard so that devices work together, with increased security and development of new devices being much easier. This will make it simpler for consumers to add to their smart tech journey, confident that they can set up and control their devices with their preferred system option. In addition, the availability of 5G and improved Wi-Fi technology will enable far more

Facebook Portal

devices to be connected simultaneously with better and faster access to resources. “The trend will continue with high-end

functionality and features to be more accessible to more people,” comments Stuart Tickle, Managing Director at AWE. “Consumers are very comfortable with connected devices and the resistance is falling away and being replaced with a desire for accessibility. “The lockdown has, in my opinion, accelerated

this trend, with people’s homes becoming more of a focus of their time and family activity, as well as older generations accepting and recognising that being connected to your family online is a real benefit.”

Smart security A 2019 survey of the smart security space by Futuresource included smart security cameras, video doorbells, locks and detectors showing a 37 per cent uptick in shipments in 2019 globally. Of those categories, smart locks and video doorbells witnessed the greatest increase with a 56 and 57 per cent shipment growth respectively. Also, with more people staying at home in

recent months, safety became a top priority. The Ring video doorbell brand has spent much of the past two years on TV increasing its brand awareness. During the lockdown period the

Google Home Mini

manufacturer saw a considerable spike in sales, according to Steven May, UK Country Manager at JDM Products, the distributor for the independent electrical market. “We saw a significant increase in the lead-up

to and during lockdown where customers wanted to know who was at their door before they opened it,” he reports, adding: “During the first month of lockdown, household burglaries dropped by 39 per cent, according to the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) and as consumers now return to work and perhaps spend more time away from home, this figure may rise. But with a Ring smart doorbell and security system homeowners can benefit from that added security at home.” Elsewhere, Swann, one of the leaders in DIY

security monitoring, will be launching The Enforcer in September – its latest camera that includes motion-activated red and blue flashing lights, spotlight, siren (on 4K variant) and other features to deter intruders. This is in addition to its compact, non-mechanical pan-tilt security camera that includes auto-tracking. Both these products are completely integrated with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. “Easy to use, reliable, home security protection

will remain a key trend that retailers can take advantage of in the coming months and years,” comments Mr Slater.

Ring’s Floodlight Camera

Swann Security Cameras

The Ring Doorbell Camera

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