Several smart home companies are considering the adoption of blockchain, which would make the data collected by smart devices immutable, increasing the difficulty of tampering with services by cybercriminals.
In addition to drastically improving the security of devices, blockchain offers users the possibility to securely share specific areas and devices with other people without giving them access to everything. For example, Comcast uses a permission-based ledger which allows smart home product users to remotely grant access permissions from their smartphone. These permissions can be revoked at any point. This could be particularly well suited to smart locks, giving friends and family members a virtual key for the house.
While blockchain use in the smart home is still in its infancy, smart home automation company Arloid has significantly invested in the technology. Arloid combines its hardware (eg smart security, lighting, sensors, etc) with its platform and lets the Arloid community decide what projects should make it to the Arloid marketplace.
Similarly, Walmart is patenting a blockchain solution to manage smart appliances. This solution would allow smart appliances data to be stored on the blockchain; each device will receive a unique identifier and users will receive a private key accessible via their smartphones. This private key will enable users to manage each device knowing that all transactions and messages are encrypted and going through a secured network.
Juniper believes that blockchain could be the future of the smart home. With consumers’ concerns about data security and privacy lifted and more interoperability guaranteed by blockchain, future smart home solutions will become much more inclusive. This way, home and personal data (eg healthcare) can be linked, stored and protected on the blockchain. However, limitations regarding blockchain’s ease of deployment, interoperability and scalability will have to be overcome first.
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Figure 1: Total Revenue from Smart Home Automation/Monitoring, Split by 8 Key Regions, 2024