The technology industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by heightened connectivity, digital transformation across industries, increasing demand for smart home solutions, and the necessity for companies to enhance efficiency and competitiveness in a swiftly transforming marketplace, as well as growing importance of technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning (ML), and smart sensors. Wireless communication protocols such as Wi-Fi, Zigbee, Z-wave, and Thread enable communication and connectivity between smart devices, enabling centralised control and automation of various smart home functions such as lighting, heating, security, and entertainment.  In the last three years alone, there have been over 3.6 million patents filed and granted in the technology industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in Internet of Things: Home automation control systems. Buy the report here.

However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilising and reaching maturity.

Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.

300+ innovations will shape the technology industry

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the technology industry using innovation intensity models built on over 2.5 million patents, there are 300+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, environmental sensors, digital twins, and network-on-a-chip are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Intelligent embedded systems, smart factory systems, and smart grids are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are contactless verification and wearable physiological monitors, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for IoT in the technology industry

Home automation control systems is a key innovation area in IoT

Home automation control systems encompass the integration of electrical devices in a residential or commercial setting, enabling automated control over lighting, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), security, entertainment, and other appliances. This technology involves the use of specialised software and computers to monitor and manage different aspects of the space. Networking components like routers, hubs, switches, and gateways facilitate communication between devices and the central control system, streamlining operations and enhancing convenience within the premises.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 260+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established technology companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of home automation control systems.

Key players in home automation control systems – a disruptive innovation in the technology industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent and broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in and reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.

Patent volumes related to home automation control systems

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Johnson Controls International 647 Unlock Company Profile
Gree Electric Appliances 567 Unlock Company Profile
Midea 540 Unlock Company Profile
Siemens 471 Unlock Company Profile
Haier Group 406 Unlock Company Profile
Xiaomi 381 Unlock Company Profile
Alphabet 357 Unlock Company Profile
Honeywell International 308 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Group 306 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 237 Unlock Company Profile
Somfy 167 Unlock Company Profile
LG 159 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Electric 157 Unlock Company Profile
Signify 144 Unlock Company Profile
Schneider Electric 132 Unlock Company Profile
View 123 Unlock Company Profile
Apple 119 Unlock Company Profile
Resideo Technologies 89 Unlock Company Profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 87 Unlock Company Profile
Legend 82 Unlock Company Profile
Emerson Electric 80 Unlock Company Profile
Toshiba 78 Unlock Company Profile
Sichuan Changhong Electric 76 Unlock Company Profile
Trane Technologies 66 Unlock Company Profile
International Business Machines (IBM) 65 Unlock Company Profile
Raytheon Technologies 59 Unlock Company Profile
Gira Giersiepen 57 Unlock Company Profile
Hon Hai Precision Industry 57 Unlock Company Profile
Lutron Electronics 55 Unlock Company Profile
Foshan Yunmi Electrical Appliance Science & Technology 55 Unlock Company Profile
Enel 52 Unlock Company Profile
EchoStar 51 Unlock Company Profile
Lennox International 47 Unlock Company Profile
Baidu 45 Unlock Company Profile
Duchossois Group 45 Unlock Company Profile
Kip Prod P1 43 Unlock Company Profile
Corning 43 Unlock Company Profile
NEC 43 Unlock Company Profile
Microsoft 42 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Group 42 Unlock Company Profile
Ecolab 39 Unlock Company Profile
Sharp 39 Unlock Company Profile
Hayward Industries 38 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi 38 Unlock Company Profile
Coolpad Group 38 Unlock Company Profile
Koninklijke Philips 36 Unlock Company Profile
Beijing Electronics 34 Unlock Company Profile
SoftBank Group 34 Unlock Company Profile
Skyworth Group 34 Unlock Company Profile
Xiaomi Technology 33 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Johnson Controls International is a leading patent filer in home automation control systems. The company’s patents are aimed at describing systems and methods for detecting changes in energy usage in a building. The computer system used for this purpose includes a processing circuit configured to automatically identify a change in a building's energy usage model based on data received from the building management system.

The processing circuit may be configured to communicate the identified change in the static factor to at least one of the modules either for alerting a user to the identified change or for initiating an adjustment to the energy model for a building in response to the identified change.

Other prominent patent filers in the space include Gree Electric Appliances and Midea.

By geographic reach, ista International leads the pack, followed by Barghest Building Performance and STEINEL Vertrieb. In terms of application diversity, Smartfrog holds the top position, followed by Kip Prod P1 and Prodea Systems.

Home automation control systems can streamline operations, enhance energy efficiency, and improve security, leading to cost savings and increased productivity. These systems offer convenience, comfort, and peace of mind to the residents, allowing for easy management of various devices and systems, efficient resource usage, and enhanced home security.

To further understand how IoT is disrupting the technology industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Internet of Things – Thematic Research.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.