Australian IoT at home market grew 55% in 2017

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Wednesday, 16 May, 2018

Australian IoT at home market grew 55% in 2017

The Australian Internet of Things at Home market grew 55% in 2017 to $583 million, partly as a result of rapid uptake in smart home speakers such as Google Home, according to research from Telsyte.

The research firm estimates that adoption of smart speakers has grown from less than 10,000 in 2016 to around 500,000 today, with around 3 million households forecast to have a smart speaker by 2022.

Telsyte categorises IoT at home products into smart energy, smart security, smart lifestyle and smart hub devices.

Smart speakers were the fastest-growing category of IoT at home products in 2017, with the Google Home and Google Home mini being the market leaders in this category. But demand for the Apple HomePod and Amazon Echo is expected to grow significantly as their products become more widely available in Australia.

The surge in smart speaker adoption is expected to lay the foundation for demand for other IoT at home products. The research found that smart speaker users are more than twice as likely to purchase other products in this category compared to non-users.

Meanwhile, Telsyte has predicted that rapid uptake of these products, coupled with the increasing internet connectivity of home appliances such as security cameras and air conditioners, is laying the foundation for a rapid expansion in the adoption of internet-connected devices in the home.

The average Australian household has 17.1 connected devices, up from 13.7 last year, and this is expected to grow to 37 by 2022, the company said. This would represent 381 million internet connected devices nationally.

Telsyte predicts that the smart lifestyle segment — comprising whitegoods, appliances, and house and garden products, will be the largest category by this time.

But the research also found that concerns over privacy and cybersecurity are impacting consumer appetite for IoT at home devices. Some 41% of Australians are more concerned about cybersecurity than last year, with 61% concerned about their private information being exposed online.

When it comes to IoT devices, these fears are well founded, according to Sense of Security CTO Jason Edelstein. He said device makers eager to capitalise on demand for connected devices are rushing their products to market with often little thought for security.

“It’s not just our households at risk either. Due to the increased efficiencies and convenience IoT provides, it is permeating many industries, ranging from health care to retail. It could be an employee bringing in an unsecure IoT device and connecting it to the network. It could be a connected air-conditioning unit in the office. Or, worse, it could be a connected healthcare device that enables doctors to monitor a patient’s condition remotely,” he said.

“We have seen pacemakers, baby monitors, share bikes and a casino aquarium hacked. Literally, any device connected to a network becomes a gateway for hackers and the lax security approach is leaving us vulnerable.”

Edelstein said it is essential that companies start bringing a cybersecurity mindset into the planning and design phase for internet-connected devices.

“Today, IoT devices are a hacker’s dream. It’s everywhere, it’s largely unsecure and it’s providing easy access points to conduct malicious activity and access sensitive information, such as medical records, addresses and credit card details. We must take a proactive approach to securing IoT or risk becoming an easy target.”

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