In the latest report from IHS Markit, there will be around 328 million smart speakers installed by the end of 2021. And on top of that, nearly 1.13 billion smart electricity, gas and water meters will be installed. That's a huge increase from now, and that's only three years from now. Which indicates that the Internet of Things is going to continue to propel itself in the coming years, as long as this data from IHS Markit is correct.
Right now, companies are using smart speakers as entry points into the IoT, and companies will also be using smart meters as an entry point in the coming months. As it's an easy way for gas, water and electric companies to charge you more efficiently and accurately, which is definitely important here. IHS Markit's senior analyst for connected device research, Paul Erickson says "no matter the type of 'smart' device, device makers face the same challenge: keep costs down while increasing functionality." On top of that, device makers will also face issues with getting users to actually adopt the product, especially since the "smart" version of something is far more expensive than the "dumb" version, which so many people are already used to using.
It makes sense that smart speakers are going to be used as entry points into the Internet of Things, considering these are typically pretty cheap, and everyone needs a speaker. However, currently, most people only use their smart speaker for playing music or asking their personal assistant questions. Not for controlling their smart home and using some other Internet of Things devices. Which is something that device makers are going to need to address, especially if they really want to use these smart speakers as entry points into the IoT space. But that will likely change in the coming months and the next year, as companies like Apple, Google and Amazon begin to focus more on smart devices with its assistants.