For many years the concept of the connected home has been the stuff of science fiction…or rare privilege for those who can afford it. But a number of trends are converging, led by the growing momentum behind Internet of Things (IoT), to create the “smart home” lifestyle a reality for the mainstream.Read full article
For many years the concept of the connected home has been the stuff of science fiction…or rare privilege for those who can afford it. But a number of trends are converging, led by the growing momentum behind Internet of Things (IoT), to create the “smart home” lifestyle a reality for the mainstream.
The hype surrounding IoT in the home is growing rapidly, according to Gartner, Inc., as the battle for the IoT gateway in the connected home gets underway. The opportunity is substantial: the home IoT gateway market is expanding rapidly and the number of smart connected homes is expected to grow from between 100 million and 200 million homes now to between 500 million and 700 million homes by 2020. Interestingly, demand for connected home technology is being generated by multiple generations of consumers, according to a recent survey sponsored by Icontrol Networks. Millennials, GenXers and Baby Boomers alike are putting in place the foundational elements for a connected home environment.
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Gartner predicts that the most successful home gateway provider will develop a system that seamlessly integrates with nearly any vendor’s IoT application and is relatively painless to the homeowner. A system that locks homeowners into one specific operating system limits their opportunity, as consumers will want to exercise their preference in terms of the IoT products they choose.
Meanwhile, Icontrol networks’ “State of the Smart Home” survey reports that in the past 12 months, there has been a global rise in the level of excitement about the smart home with millennials (79%) and parents (76%) leading the pack. A full 50% of the overall population is excited about the technology. Intent to purchase smart home technology is quickly following suit, with 50% of people saying they plan to buy at least one smart home product in the next year (U.S. intent is slightly higher at 54%).
Putting the unfolding trend into context, researchers at Ovum project that the connected home of the future will naturally be an evolution of today’s connected home, which is built on the key foundation of broadband Internet access both in the home and on the move, with the latter typically provided by smartphones and other portable devices. They observe that the current connected home market is at a relatively early stage in the US, with many households still struggling to see the value of investing in devices and services that are relatively complex and costly.
One possible exception to this is the role of media services and entertainment. Greater smart home integration, say Ovum researchers, is leading to even more connection between media services, satisfying the consumer’s desire for entertainment while also giving ISPs and their partners more insight into the customers’ interests, leading to better advertising.
They believe that the concept of the entertainment hub and the broadband hub will effectively become the same device. With a single hub delivering all services, it will be easier to integrate other devices, such as wearables and connected appliances, with the service and deliver information across all the connected devices in the home, rather than just the one currently in the user’s hand.