How Mobility And The IoT Is Driving The Home Automation Industry
Modern homes powered by technology, is transforming living spaces, by providing superior Home Automation solutions to home owners. Intelligent, interactive and connected-devices are making Smart Homes a reality. Mobility solutions augment the smart home ecosystem, enabling access to devices on the go. The Internet of Things (IoT) or the concept of ‘Connected Devices’ is helping in making Home Automation an easily accessible and affordable technology solution. It enables security, lighting and heating systems to work together, as a cohesive unit, with constant communication flow with each other, as well as with a central device, which could be a personal computer or a mobile device. The central device serves as a control unit that monitors and manages all the connected electrical devices in the home environment.
Home Automation not only offers increased convenience, security and cost savings to home owners, but it also has a positive impact on the environment, by improving energy efficiency, resulting in substantial reduction in each home owner’s carbon footprint.
Here is a look at some interesting Home Automation industry statistics:
- 88% of mobile device owners areaware of home automation products
- 62% of mobile device owners areinterested in purchasing home automation equipment
- Predictions are that there will be 10 connected devices per householdby 2020
- The Home Automation and Control Systems Market is expected to cross over $35 Billion by 2016with an average CAGR of 16.1%
- In the U.S. region, lighting, home entertainment, and security products market is expected to touch $ 3.8 billion by 2016 with a CAGR of 12.2%, while heating, ventilation, air conditioning and energy management market is expected to reach $ 1.7 Billion by 2016 at a CAGR of 7.4%
(Source: NPD Group’s Home Automation study)
Here is a look at the technologies enabling home automation:
- Z-Wave Technologyenables remote controlling of Home Automation applications, by leveraging low-power RF embedded chips. It has also established several standards and protocols for the Home Automation industry
- ZigBeeis a wireless based home automation technology, with lesser acceptance as compared to Z-Wave, which could probably be owing to the fact that it only allows communication between devices of the same manufacturer
- INSTEON Technology leverages wireless and regular power lines, allowing devices to over, both power lines as well as the wireless network
These technologies present numerous application possibilities related to home automation.
Here is a look at some use cases:
- A connected refrigerator can communicate with user’s mobile device and update their grocery list or even suggest recipes based on contents of the refrigerator
- A connected security system can allow home owners to monitor their premises using a live CCTV feed on their mobile devices, and take necessary action in case of an emergency, all this while on the move
- A connected energy management system can provide energy consumption information to users and also allow them to pay bills, report outages or receive alerts on their mobile devices
Leading technology players like Google, Samsung and Apple are making their foray into the Home Automation space with acquisitions and home-grown software platforms. Google has acquired companies like Nest, Dropcam and Revolv, in a bid to develop a Home Automation solution that can compete with Apple’s HomeKit. Samsung has followed suit by acquiring SmartThings, an organization that specializes in building hardware for IoT devices.
With such huge strides being made by manufacturers, the Home Automation industry is witnessing a transition from high-cost solutions to cheaper and accessible, Do It Yourself (DIY) solutions. However, the Home Automation market is relatively complex, one that includes both, full Home Automation solution providers and point–to-point solution providers, like appliance vendors and cloud solution providers. Disparate systems and absence of a common standard or a regulatory authority is one of the key challenges faced by the Home Automation industry currently. While the smart home market at present is fragmented, its future looks promising. If analyst predictions prove to be right, the Home Automation industry is set to scale to newer heights in coming years, with more home owners adopting this technology, manufacturers will look to offer more cost-effective solutions to its customers.
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