As a diligent follower of technology, you probably read Mary Meeker’s definitive and panoramic technology presentations each year. She is the doyenne of Silicon Valley tech analysts, and concisely (across 300 slides!) describes trends and prognosticates. If there was a theme for Western markets this year, it was maybe ‘Enough already!’.
Some key stats: There are now four billion internet users in the world, and 1.5B of those people use smartphones. Including you. 1/3 of the world’s most valuable companies are ‘tech’ outfits. Digital payments now account for more than 50% of all payments worldwide. Especially interestingly for those of us managing the spiralling technology incorporated in high-end residential projects, UK and US users average over six hours screen time per day (this has more than doubled in 10 years) most of which is on their mobile devices. And 88% of people view TV with two screens, 71% of those looking up content related to the programme they’re watching – player stats, IMDB etc.
This, of course, is impacting how people use their homes and feel about their life. High-end homeowners started incorporating security, lighting control, and entertainment systems a couple of decades ago. The market expectation, and the amount spent, has continued to rise. But things have changed.
It used to be the case that you needed tons of wiring to send music or TV to each room. Now many of us use Sonos, Apple TV, Amazon Prime, iPlayer or other networked systems, typically controlled via a screen. Expensive BMS systems are being replaced in smaller schemes by Nest or Hive – controlled by an app (in fact around a couple of million people use this sort of smart thermostat technology in the UK now, saving energy each day).