Smart devices fuelling interest in home automation: ABI

Smart-home devices such as Nest’s smart thermostats are bringing simple-to-install, smart-home DIY to a far wider audience, which in turn will help to fuel the increase in shipments of smart-home products between now and 2019, according to a new study from ABI Research.

The market-research company expects shipments of smart-home devices to increase at a compound annual growth rate of nearly 30% between 2013 and 2019.

Although there have long been home automation enthusiasts with the technical skills needed to build out home systems, the growing proliferation of smart-home devices is broadening the appeal of this activity, reckons ABI.

“Single application, connected smart home devices will not only drive connectivity into a wealth of everyday home appliances from air conditioning units to coffee machines, they will also provide a new battleground for new and existing smart home automation players,” said Jonathan Collins, principal analyst at ABI Research. “Existing players and start-ups alike are preparing their strategies to leverage the popularity of these devices into their own holistic smart home automation plays.”

Underscoring the value and importance of consumer devices within broader smart home systems are deals such as Google’s (Mountain View, CA, USA) $3.2 billion acquisition of Nest (Palo Alto, CA, USA), and iControl’s (Redwood City, CA, USA) move to acquire Blacksumac (Ottawa, Canada), the company behind the Piper smart home device.

Meanwhile, start-ups like Revolv and WigWag are now looking to provide ways of controlling multiple smart home devices in a single automation platform – replacing multiple apps with control from their own.

Both companies have developed home gateway devices, but cloud connectivity options are expected by ABI to play a role in this area as well.

Competition may also come from managed offerings developed by telecoms operators, security players, retailers and others – as well as established home automation specialists like Control4 (Salt Lake City, UT, USA).

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