Shipments of home automation devices are set to exceed 351 million by 2018, having grown at a compound annual rate of 78% between now and then, according to a new study from ABI Research.
The market-research company also notes that solutions based on the ZigBee standard are flourishing and likely to outperform proprietary protocol offerings over the forecast period.
“ZigBee is enjoying success in the home automation market because, as an open standard technology, multiple IC vendors are creating ZigBee chipsets,” said Adarsh Krishnan, a senior analyst at ABI Research.
“Quite simply, open standard technologies are considered less risky and highly scalable when compared to the closed ecosystems of proprietary RF technologies,” added Krishnan.
Nevertheless, remarks the company, the Z-Wave protocol has also been able to gain traction in the home automation market, having been used in a number of recent managed service initiatives offering home automation as a service.
ABI Research says Z-Wave is being used to connect low-power home automation devices and enjoys support because of its interoperability, giving consumers choice regardless of distribution channel or supplier.
However, devices using the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) protocol are expected to experience the highest level of growth, reaching over 133 million units by 2018.
“Consumer electronics, including smartphones, tablets, and laptops equipped with Bluetooth, are a major contributor to Bluetooth growth in home automation,” said Dan Shey, a practice director at ABI Research. “These devices drive production economy of scale advantages.”