The smart home devices industry is on the cusp of new development opportunities, thanks to superfast 5G coverage, artificial intelligence and the internet of things, industry experts said.
A report from global market research company International Data Corp showed that shipments of smart home equipment in China reached 260 million units last year, a more than 17 percent increase year-on-year. This is expected to go up to 540 million units in 2025, with total sales revenue surpassing 800 billion yuan ($111.1 billion).
Smart home device manufacturers are ramping up efforts to leverage key digital technologies to transform and upgrade products. In fact, air conditioners that automatically control the humidity and temperature of a room based on their self-learning ability to track users' habits have already become part of people's daily lives.
Jomoo Group has seen total sales exceed 50 billion yuan in the past three years, with an annual growth rate of over 30 percent on average despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, said Lin Xiaofa, chairman of the Chinese smart kitchen and bathroom products maker.
Jomoo has applied cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, cloud computing and big data to production lines of smart toilets, faucets, bathrooms, wardrobes and cabinets.
Earlier this month, Jomoo signed an agreement with the local government in Quanzhou, Fujian province to establish its household robot R&D headquarters and "lighthouse factories", and produce robotic shower machines and robot cleaners.
Lin said the company will intensify efforts to build more lighthouse factories and speed up the intelligent and digital transformation of the manufacturing sector.
Lighthouse factories represent the highest level of global intelligent manufacturing and are characterized by high efficiency, intelligence and sustainability.
China now tops the Global Lighthouse Network list, an initiative launched by the World Economic Forum in collaboration with market consultancy McKinsey in 2018.
Lin has urged greater efforts to bolster technological innovation.
At present, Jomoo has established 16 R&D centers around the world with more than 5,000 employees engaged in technological innovation. It has invested at least 10 percent of its annual revenue into technology R&D each year.
Haier Smart Home, a subsidiary of China's largest home appliances manufacturer Haier Group, has built a 5G-powered IoT ecosystem by providing customized solutions that link together multiple home appliance products.
The IoT ecosystem is powered by Haier's industrial internet platform COSMOPlat, a new type of manufacturing automation that combines advanced machines, internet-connected sensors and big data analysis to boost productivity and reduce production costs.
Clients or users could be involved in the process of product design, research and development, production, manufacturing, sales and marketing.
"In the era of 5G and IoT, what users need are not homogeneous products, but customized solutions to meet personalized lives. We are willing to introduce tailor-made services for more families," said Li Huagang, president of Haier Smart Home.
Pan Xuefei, a senior analyst at IDC, said 5G and AIoT, or artificial intelligence of things, will "play a key role in bolstering the connectivity among different smart home devices in various application scenarios and facilitating the interaction process between human beings and machines."
Pan said advanced technologies, such as voice interaction and facial recognition, have been gradually applied in smart speakers, security surveillance equipment and other smart home devices to enhance user experience and enrich the functions of related products.
Hu Meidong in Fuzhou contributed to this story.