Smart devices, which at the most basic level are electronic devices with a certain degree of autonomous computing and configurability features, are increasingly adopted by consumers in Japan. Readily available products such as smart speakers and smartwatches are known by large parts of the population, and the penetration rate of these kinds of devices has increased in recent years. The country is home to a very advanced consumer electronics industry , with major companies engaging in the research and development of new and more sophisticated technologies.

Types of smart devices

Smart devices encompass a variety of products, such as wearables, smart speakers, and smartphones. Apple is the leading vendor both in the case of wearable devices and smartphones . Other leading companies in the wearable device market include Sony, Samsung, and Garmin, while companies such as Sharp and Fujitsu compete in the smartphone market. Many smart devices possess functions that make daily life more comfortable, such as smart speakers that can be interacted with via voice commands. If connected with other devices inside the home, smart speakers can also be an integral part of the smart home environment. In 2017, the Japanese smart speaker market gained an important boost with the launch of Google Home and Amazon Echo. It is expected that the number of households owning smart speakers will increase to more than 15 million by 2026.

Smart home technology

Some smart devices are designed from the outset for use in the home, such as smart refrigerators that are able to communicate with smartphones, or smart coffee machines that can be set to activate at a certain time in the morning. Next to smart appliances, segments of the smart home market include control and connectivity, home entertainment, comfort and lighting, security, and energy management. Devices in a smart home environment often possess connectivity features and can interact with each other, which enables functions such as remote controls. Products in this sector include smart thermostats and smart plugs, which can either regulate themselves via sensors or be controlled from a distance. The revenue of the smart home market is projected to exceed 10 billion U.S. dollars by 2025.


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