Get smart.

That's what homes are getting, or trying to do, this holiday season. 

"The Connected Home has clearly increased in importance: Apple (AAPL) was a big winner with both the iPad and iPhone 8, TV deals continue to be a big attraction, and this season's hottest toys always live up to expectations. However, we noticed significant out of stocks for Amazon Echo [from Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) ] and Google Home [from Alphabet Inc. (GOOG) ] products. Furthermore, we noticed significant interest in Amazon FireTV and Roku [from Roku Inc. (ROKU) ] products," wrote Barclay's analysts Karen Short, Matthew McClintock, Sean Kras and Ryan Gilligan in a new note in the wake of Black Friday.

Industry experts have been expecting the sales boom in smart home gadgets for some time. More and more consumers are being enticed by the promise of managing certain home functions remotely via their smartphone or tablet. Among those functions available now are regulating a home's temperature, adjusting lighting and assessing stock in refrigerators, and using said refrigerator as the command center in the home because that is one device that is always on.

Statista projects that the penetration of smart home devices in households will end this year at about 27%; by 2022, it is expected to hit 53%.

According to a report from Zion Marketing Research earlier this year, the global smart home market was valued at around $24.10 billion in 2016 and is expected to reach some $53.45 billion in 2022, expanding at a compound annual growth rate of some 14.5% between 2017 and 2022. In the U.S., smart home revenue will account for some $15 billion this year, according to Statista. 

Meanwhile, Juniper Research predicts that home automation and smart appliances will see the fastest growth over the next five years, as established manufacturers like Samsung, Bosch and GE Appliances (owned by General Electric  (GE) ), add connectivity to their units.

Yet for all the gadget sales this season, making a home smart device friendly comes with many frustrations, according to a report from McKinsey in which 3,000 households were polled. That is a key risk to the bullish projections on the smart home's future.

"Many consumers still do not understand connected device value propositions and early adopters face significant pain points that have yet to be addressed," wrote authors Mark Patel and Kahir Abuja. In one example, "Jim" could check the temperature near his home when he woke up, but had to look up the temperature manually for his day's work destination. Then he needed supplies at a store, yet he had to make a call to see if they were in stock. And in the evening at home, he was unable to sync his home entertainment system with his smartphone for music streaming.

Seamless, it is not. But then again, wrote the authors, there are many business opportunities for providers of devices and services to make a smart home come together, as promised.

Apple and General Electric are holdings in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio. Want to be alerted before Cramer buys or sells AAPL and GE? Learn more now.

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