20 Reasons Why Home Automation is Not Common In India
Home automation concept should be understood clearly before coming any conclusion about it.
The new buzz word in town is ‘smart’; from smartphones to homes to cars to cities. And the latest addition to it is the concept of ‘Smart Homes’ or Home Automation. While most of us have idealized this concept and while much of the Indian public is receptive to the idea, it still continues to evolve and carries many doubts amidst the enthusiasm as to whether this concept is actually here to stay.
Well, if you are reading this and are still clueless about what Home Automation is all about, then let us explain it. It is the use and control of home appliances, remotely or automatically. Your house will more or less turn into a robot and everything will be controlled with the help of your smart device. Life would get so much easier, wouldn’t it?
In other words, we are in need of a smart home that is well-equipped with a number of devices that automate tasks that are usually handled by humans. With the increasing need for comfort and ease along with the rising disposable incomes of the people living in metro cities, the market for smart homes looks promising but would it be a cake walk?
While smart home is a known concept in the West, India still struggles to accept it with open arms.
In India, home automation is still viewed as an object of luxury and not a necessity. Although India was quite rapid in accepting and indulging into the smartphone era, what is it that is keeping us afar from giving our houses this revamp and making them smart too? Let’s find out.
1. Smart home automation is Expensive
Due to the high cost of products currently, Home Automation is considered affordable only by Individuals with a higher net worth. Hence, it is considered as a luxury. Currently, there are 182,000 millionaire households in India. This number is set to grow to 294,000 in next 4-5 years.
People with lesser incomes can’t relate to Home Automation, since there hasn’t been much emphasis given to the requirement or necessity of having or installing smart technology in one’s house. Another major barrier for mass adoption is the price difference between smart v/s non-smart devices. A research by www.energy.gov shows that smart home automation technologies save up to 1-15% energy.
2. Home automation considered to be complicated
Since home automation is a technical process, people consider it to be complicated tor difficult to maintain
3. There is a limited clarity about what it really means
People are not aware of the wider uses of home automation than mere voice commanding for entertainment purposes shown over the various commercials on TV.
These commercials can make the masses rethink of the level of importance of it smart technology their daily lives. 20 reasons why you would love smart homes
4. Lack of technical knowledge about home automation:
Due to the lack of technical knowledge most people fear to shift to smart homes which are entirely operated by technology and might not be easy to grasp. Thus, giving them an additional burden of learning how things operate and the fear of error.
5. Wiring hassles
To Implement Home Automation You Need to do a dedicated wiring which might not be possible in many places around the house and nobody likes to see their house with running and dangling wires right?
6. Considered to be an accessory
In India, buying homes are considered to be an investment and they usually find home automation technology to be an accessory that is unnecessary for their household.
Although there are real estate companies that have begun offering smart homes, these houses are usually not bought by the middle-class.
7. Security speculations
The advent of smart homes has opened up new privacy and security issues. People fear that their personal details could potentially be exposed.
For instance, even though the consumers need to say wake-up commands such as “Alexa” or “Ok Google” to activate smart speakers, the fact remains that they are always listening. Users have to be more aware of the capabilities of these devices and the risks that pose.
Some devices share data with third parties while others do not. Anything connected to your network with access to the public internet can be a potential entry point for an outsider.
8. Home automation or Smart homes considered a luxury
The fact that it is considered a luxury in the Indian market cannot be denied and changing people’s mind-set about it and getting them to switch to automated homes will take some more years.
he heavy costs that it carries make it difficult for an average earning individual to invest in. The finish, the look, the feel as well as the brand image associated with smart home products also give people an idea that it is an object of luxury.
9. Difficult to popularize in rural areas:
The rural population in India are getting acquainted with the digital world now but there is still time to introduce them to the complexities of a smart home.
It is also hard to convince the rural population to shift to the idea of robots running their houses on the touch of buttons.
10. Lack of trust in startups
There are several Indian start-ups that are making smart home solutions at an affordable price. They lend a lot of importance to features, but however the look and feel of their products still remains unimpressive which inturn leads to distrust among the consumers.
11. Use-case not clear:
The use-cases have not been clearly defined in India to appeal to the average Indian consumer, experts say. India’s smart home market is currently serviced by companies ranging from the likes of Cisco, IBM, BPL and ABB —offering a spectrum of smart solutions to those in the smart consumer durables such as LG, Samsung and Xiaomi to Amazon and Google and even start-ups like myGate.
12. Unavailability of regular electrical conditions in every city
Home automation require one basic thing to be highly deliverable- Proper electric conditions. Many cities still fail to provide regular supply of electricity due to various reasons, especially among tier 2-3 cities.
This again leads to the division in the concentration of devices in the homes of the rich and elite classes thus narrowing the scope of expansion of automated home
13. Immature segment in Indian market
Another question in the home automation segment is, “Has the market matured in India?” The answer is not yet; we are still in the process of figuring out what is relevant for Indian consumers.
Consumers’ awareness in this segment is very low; both on the availability of options and also on the affordability factors that makes this area feel like a luxury or good and not an absolute necessity.
14. Not easily available in electronic stores:
Smart Home devices are not sold in consumer electronics stores. Instead they are installed by integrators. This process of connecting all of them via one centralized hub remains cumbersome with multiple devices from different vendors, working on multiple platforms.
Moreover, since most of the smart solutions merely offer automation features as an add-on, it does not seem to be working as a catalyst to get users shift from their traditional systems
15. Not easily acceptable big-sized families:
In India, joint families still exist and in such huge families it is not convenient to install home automation, with respect to both the size factor and the financial factor.
Also, in such a set-up, senior citizens are not ready to try new technologies readily mostly because they don’t understand the need for it and its uses and are willing to stick to their traditional ways.
16. Poor market studies:
The concept of Smart Home automation isn’t popular because the Indian market wasn’t widely studied to meet the needs and lifestyle requirements of the targeted audience in each area.
The need for AI customization according to the household requirements of Indian households is essential for House Automation to be a complete success and the prices need to be significantly curtailed so that more people opt for it.
17. Not okay with dependence on technology:
The Indian households are not yet ready to give up on the idea of house maids who do the same things as the AI would do for them and in fact, at a much cheaper price
18. A lot of plug and play installation solutions are not easily available in India.
19. The interior designers in India do not use or suggest Smart Home Solutions.
20. The scope is limited because you can implement the technology more easily in new houses compared to the old ones.
As appealing as this concept looks, it will continue to challenge device makers to reinvent their products with go-to-market strategies. While the households in the top 10 cities of the country are expected to be the early adopters, the consumers from the next tiers are expected to gradually upgrade to this new set up and would need localized use cases to understand the significance and turn India into an AI automated country.