Global 'Connected Home' market to reach $US101bn in 2013

Connected Home is more than just a concept and is in fact an inevitability

The global Connected Home market, which relies on the convergence of three industries - consumer electronics (CE), home computers and mobile devices - will be worth $US101 billion in 2013, according to a new report.

In 2012, the idea of the Connected Home finally became simple enough to gain some real traction, the report by Visiongain states. Many of the enabling technologies for the Connected Home are already in place in most average households, and wireless sensors are now becoming ubiquitous.

These devices are currently being embedded in everything from electrical plugs and thermostats to cars and even wine corks. The rise in popularity of devices such as tablets will also be a fundamental factor in connected home uptake, according to the report.

Meanwhile, average consumers who are replacing their home television sets are increasingly opting for Smart TVs - a device that Visiongain believes will act as a showcase for the benefits of a connected home system and other smart devices in the future.

"The proliferation of all kinds of digital devices combined with increased internet access, Wi-Fi, and broadband means that the Connected Home is more than just a concept and is in fact an inevitability," the report states.

"From saving money to revolutionising the way subscribers experience, share and gain access to entertainment, the Connected Home has an ecosystem comprised of numerous players, increasing the value proposition significantly."

Connected Homes do not simply offer interoperability; the technology also promises to save subscribers money on energy bills and provide more eco-friendly energy consumption through devices such as smart meters, according to the report.

Smart metering is already one of the most mature Connected Home technologies. In 2013, Visiongain expects 8 million smart meters to be installed globally, growing with an AGR of 50 percent to reach 12 million in 2014. By 2018, this number could reach 58 million.

Connected Homes have been a major focus of this week's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, where Internet-connected ovens, refrigerators, and washing machines are being shown off by large electronic companies such as Samsung and LG.

Operators, mobile device manufacturers, OEMs and app developers will all benefit from this trend, due to broader revenue streams and the opportunity to develop applications that will help subscribers to control and survey their connected homes.

The news follows the publication of a report by by General Electric (GE) in November, which found that increased connectivity is transforming not only domestic life but also industry.

The report claimed that the "Industrial Internet" (or Internet of Things) has the potential to add $10-15 trillion to global GDP by 2030 and reduce billions of dollars worth of waste across major industries such as healthcare, energy and transportation.

"The full potential of the Industrial Internet will be felt when the three primary digital elements - intelligent devices, intelligent systems and intelligent automation - fully merge with physical machines, facilities, fleets and networks," said GE's Chief Economist Marco Annunziata.

"When this occurs, the benefits of enhanced productivity, lower costs and reduced waste will propagate through the entire industrial economy."

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