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Multi-application systems dominate future smart home market

A new study from IMS Research, projects that “smart home” nodes that are focused on energy management applications will be the highest deployed during the period 2010 to 2017, with almost 150 million nodes projected to be shipped. This includes a range of devices from HVAC controls, such as smart thermostats and radiator controls, to energy measurement devices such as smart plugs and in-home displays.

Indeed, in-home displays account for a significant proportion of energy management device shipments, with large deployments set for a number of countries, ranging from the U.K. to India.

Home monitoring and security applications will drive the second highest proportion of ‘smart home’ node shipments during the period 2010 to 2017, with devices such as magnetic contacts and ‘smart’ motion sensors projected to account for around a quarter of global ‘smart home’ node shipments. Longer-term, it will be systems that consolidate a range of applications, such as energy management, home monitoring, lighting control and other home automation, into one seamless solution that will drive the market beyond initial deployments.

“In North America, where managed home control services have been most widely deployed, the main value proposition is initially home monitoring, with applications ranging from providing intruder alerts via SMS, to alerting working parents when children return home,” Lisa Arrowsmith, associate director of connectivity at IMS Research, explains. “Such services are now being expanded to offer a range of energy management or home comfort features, such as measuring appliance energy usage and remotely controlling HVAC settings. In contrast, in Europe (where the market for home control systems is less mature), systems are marketed more around the HVAC control or energy management features, with the home monitoring features offered as an add-on.”

Arrowsmith continues, “However, the ultimate driver for the uptake of smart home solutions will be the consolidation of applications into a single system; while each region may experience different initial drivers, a key value proposition is derived from systems which can provide cross-application functionality: for example, using a home monitoring system to determine that windows are open and therefore HVAC should be adjusted accordingly.”

IMS Research’s recently published report, Connectivity Opportunities in the Smart Home – World – 2012 Edition (published 9th November 2012), provides market estimates (2010-2011) and projections (2012-2017) for the uptake of fourteen connected home devices in four key application areas; energy management, home monitoring, lighting and other home automation. Each application area is further segmented by four system types (high-end home automation, managed services, do-it-yourself or mass-market automation systems and demand response/HAN) and fourteen connectivity technologies. Further segmentation includes major region and integration method (IC or module).