Smart Home Solutions to Reach Mass-Market Adoption by 2018

  • Ovum
  • Windstream
LITTLE ROCK, AR — Smart home technologies including security, energy efficiency and home automation are in the early adoption phases, but are expected for mass-market infiltration within the next three years, according to Windstream, a provider of advanced network communications, in its new research report titled, "Smart 2025: The Future of the Connected Home and Community." Conducted in partnership with Ovum, a global technology research firm, the report demonstrates how connected technology is poised to change the way we live in 10 years.

Key findings from the report incorporate analysis of the current state of connected technology and predictions for its future in the community, including how it's poised to transform homes, transportation, entertainment, healthcare and more. In addition, analysts forecast what will drive widespread adoption and explore the infrastructure improvements necessary to support it.

"Windstream is in the business of connecting communities, so we wanted to paint a picture of how connected technology will impact our lives from the home to the workplace to the classroom," said Sarah Day, senior vice president of consumer and small business at Windstream.

"Connected technology is rapidly changing every aspect of everyday life from major cities down to our local communities, and this research is for everyone curious about how technology is and will continue to shape our future."

Rise of the Connected Home
Research found that smart technology solutions focused on security, energy efficiency and home automation are in the early adoption phases, but are expected for mass-market infiltration within the next three years. And in 10 years, greater interoperability and ease of use will make smart homes a DIY-venture. Along the way developers will need to overcome issues of high cost, fragmentation among devices and growing concerns of privacy and security in order to achieve widespread adoption.

Unexpected Factors Drive Adoption
Fundamental needs are poised to drive adoption more than price, advertising or even design, analysts suggest. Analysts map widespread adoption to Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, predicting that segments that serve primary needs such as physiological demands (think smart energy, e-health) may be embraced before connected technologies that serve higher-level needs like esteem and self-actualization, such as home automation devices.

From Smart Islands to Smart Living

The network of connected technologies, popularly referred to as the Internet of Things (IoT), has grown significantly, but is still incomplete. As the IoT continues its ascent over the next decade, an important shift will be the transition from independent smart technologies to a truly smart living experience in which all of the devices and data inform one another.

Put differently, a majority of our devices operate independently, similar to "smart islands." As technology and interoperability advance, though, the smart device, smart home, smart car and even smart city will all provide the necessary links among one another to enable truly smart living. This means, for example, a home security system will become part of a larger family security system that may include location, health tracking, on-demand communications, and safety aware recommendations for everything from driving routes to hotels and restaurants.

"With nearly 100 million households, three-quarters of which have broadband, the US has an enormous addressable market for the connected home," said Mike Roberts, analyst at Ovum. "The research predicts that over the next 10 years mass market adoption will lead to connected homes supporting billions of connected devices, enabling a smarter, more efficient home."

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