Library image, photo by Alireza Attari on Unsplash

Critically reviewing smart home technology applications and business models in Europe

23 September, 2020

Critically reviewing smart home technology applications and business models in Europe

Benjamin K. Sovacool

Noam Bergman

Research paper   Digital Society

Dylan Furszyfer Del Rio, Benjamin K. Sovacool, Noam Bergman and Karen Makucha

Smart home technologies refer to devices that provide some degree of digitally connected or enhanced services to occupants. Smart homes have become central in recent technology and policy discussions about energy efficiency, climate change, and innovation. However, many studies are speculative, lacking empirical data, and focus on costs and benefits, but not business models and emerging markets. To address these gaps, our study presents data from semi-structured expert interviews and a review of the recent literature. Although we draw from empirical data collected in the United Kingdom, we place our findings in the context of Europe because the UK has access to European markets for smart home technologies and platforms. Our sampling strategy included experts from Amazon, Microsoft, the International Energy Agency, government, academic, and civil society stakeholders. We identify a diversity of definitions associated with smart home technologies and draw from our data to discuss applications centred on digital connections, enhanced control, automation, and learning. We analyse fifteen distinct business models for smart home technologies, ranging from energy services and household data monitoring to assisted living, security and safety, and new advertising channels (among others). Our assessment ought to guide future innovation patterns, technology deployment, and policy activity relating to smart homes, especially insofar as they can deliver energy services more affordably or help meeting carbon mitigation priorities.

Publication details

Furszyfer Del Rio, D.D., Sovacool, B.K., Bergman, N. and Makucha, K.E. 2020. Critically reviewing smart home technology applications and business models in Europe Energy Policy, 144: 111631. Opens in a new tab10.1016/j.enpol.2020.111631

Banner photo credit: Alireza Attari on Unsplash

Scroll Up