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Smart Home Devices on the Verge of Breakthrough
[August 02, 2015]

Smart Home Devices on the Verge of Breakthrough

Tech savvy consumers are well aware of the tremendous impact the Internet of Things (IoT) can have on the home. While many early adopters are already embracing smart home devices, mainstream shoppers are also expected to purchase these devices in droves over the next two years, according to a BI Intelligence report published last year.

Smart connected-home devices include common household appliances, such as washers, dryers and refrigerators, Internet-connected sensors, monitors, cameras and alarm systems used for home security, as well as energy-saving technology like smart thermostats and smart lighting.

The BI report highlights some of the exciting forecasts in the connected-home marketplace: • Connected-home device distribution is expected to increase at a compound annual rate of 67 percent over the next five years, reaching 1.8 billion units in 2019.

• The connected-home industry will account for 25 percent of shipments within the IoT market this year, increasing to approximately 27 percent in 2019 as growth in IoT expands.

• Connected-home devices will generate more than $61 billion in sales this year, increasing to approximately $490 billion in 2019.

The demand for connected-home technology is further being driven by economic trends, such as urbanization, rapid technological development and increased security requirements.

According to the GSA (Global mobile Suppliers Association), more than 360 operators have commercially launched LTE networks and service in 124 countries. Additionally, recent figures claim that Sprint and T-Mobile US each cover 280 million POPs (points-of-presence) with LTE, while Verizon and AT&T cover 308 million LTE POPs. The expansion of 4G-LTE, including a $140 billion dollar investment by AT&T since 2009, will certainly continue drive the production and sale of connected-home devices.

Cloud services for smart homes provide broadband speed and data capacity through 4G-LTE networks that will ensure reliability and increased capabilities for the next generation of IoT devices.

New IoT “friendly” variants of the LTE standard provide lower speeds of 10Mbps and 1Mbps – a number that will continue to drop in the future. This, combined with ultra-low current consumption and cost, will cater well to the IoT trend to enable secure, simple, always-on connectivity for smart appliances – with no installation required.

Naturally, connected-home consumers demand product safety, comfort, affordability and quality.

Quality Durability and reliability are the foremost considerations for consumers investing in connected-home technology, which must be resistant to wear and tear and deliver top-notch performance. The ability of consumers to adjust temperature or lighting settings is also an important component that attests to the quality and cost-saving effectiveness of the product. Familiarity and trust with connected-home products are built over time and quality provides an incentive for future investment or upgrades.

Comfort and Cost Reduction Consumers expect connected-home devices to minimize effort and increase comfort. Interconnecting household systems such as lights, locks, thermostats and garage doors is critical in new connected-home designs. By streamlining gadgetry and increasing accessibility, manufacturers facilitate control and reduce the complexity of operating IoT systems.

Financial and energy-consumption savings are one of the considerations when investing in connected-home technology. Eliminating unnecessary lighting and electronics use is key for consumers looking to “go green” and reduce superfluous expenses. It’s also imperative that connected-home interfaces be user-friendly for all age groups, so that consumers can respond to any situation quickly and effectively.

Safety The next generation of connected-home security devices includes 3D video cameras, access sensors and intrusion detection devices - all accessible via a smartphone. The smartphone can receive alerts through wireless communication, thereby giving home owners greater control of their living space through remote access.

The future of connected-home and Internet of Things technology is expansive and bright. With financial forecasts predicting a gradually emerging market, and the prospect for growth due to innovation and the extension of 4G-LTE availability, the next few years will be decisive and potentially lucrative for providers of cloud service and LTE solutions.

Eran Eshed is the Co-founder and VP Marketing and Business Development at Altair Semiconductor, a developer of single-mode LTE chipsets. Altair has shipped millions of LTE chipsets to date, commercially deployed on the world’s most advanced LTE networks including Verizon Wireless, AT&T and Softbank. The company’s customer roster includes some of the world’s leading OEMs and ODMs, such as Hewlett-Packard, ASUS and D-Link, as well as the majority of Asian ODMs developing LTE products for global markets.

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