Numerous Smart Home Developments Set Market for Growth

Carl Weinschenk
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Home networks may end up being the gift that keeps on giving to vendors and service providers.

ABI Research released projections this week that predict that one-third of homes worldwide will have networks by 2018, an increase of 8.4 percent over the current 24.8 percent. Wi-Fi and multimedia over coax (MoCA) are the predominant networking techniques, according to the study. Also, the report noted that average revenue per user (ARPU) and limited infrastructure is retarding growth in countries with developing economies.

A couple of other news items this week suggest that vendors and service providers are cognizant of the importance of the home networking sector.


Twice reports that Samsung is on the verge of rolling out the home networking service in South Korea and the United States. The company’s Smart Home Service was announced at the CES Show in January. The service will enable the company’s products to be controlled via a wireless network.

Silicon Angle said that Prodea Systems has introduced its Residential Operating System (ROS) into the U.S. market. ROS standardizes the “user experience” across all devices. The North American launch customers are Canal SUR in Latin America and Miami-based private real estate investment firm, Fort Capital. According to the article:

Prodea is one of the older companies dedicated to the smart home space, dating its roots all the way back to 2006, a year before Apple set off the mobile revolution with the launch of the very first iPhone. Nest Labs, the hugely successful connected appliance maker that was acquired by Google in January for a massive $3.2 billion, only hit the scene three years later in 2010.

Smart home platform company iControl also made an announcement this week. Forbes reports that the company is buying BlacSumac, which offers the do-it-yourself Piper home security and automation device. The story points out that iControl, which provides services to cable operators Comcast, Time Warner and Cox, will enter the retail consumer market after the acquisition.

The abundance of news on home networking is no accident—the planets are aligning for this market. Consumer interest is piquing and tools have finally come of age. Forrester Research Vice President and Principal Analyst Frank Gillett used an InformationWeek column to put the connected-home market in perspective.

A number of technologies have come together to help bring about the home network, including the emergence of always-on broadband, home networking gear such as routers and gateways, smartphones and tablets, and stable short-distance connectivity options and service provider offerings. Indeed, Gillett said that competitors are “popping up like mushrooms.”



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