Smart home monitoring devices to exceed half a billion by 2018: ABI Research

The number of wireless smart home monitoring devices is set to reach more than half a billion globally by 2018, according to a new study from ABI Research, up from just 17.23 million in 2013.

Those devices include contact and motion sensors, smart thermostats and smart plugs, all of which will become increasingly popular as users adopt smart-home technologies and extend existing systems, says the market-research company.

The number of wireless smart home monitoring devices is set to reach more than half a billion globally by 2018, according to a new study from ABI Research, up from just 17.23 million in 2013.

Those devices include contact and motion sensors, smart thermostats and smart plugs, all of which will become increasingly popular as users adopt smart-home technologies and extend existing systems, says the market-research company.

According to the study, a number of vendors – including Honeywell (Morristown, NJ, USA), GE (Fairfield, GT), Nest (owned by Google (Mountain View, CA, USA)), Kwikset (Lake Forest, CA, USA) and UTC (Hartford, CT, USA) – have been adding wireless connectivity to their home devices, allowing users to take advantage of remote-monitoring functionality and make use of smart-home services.

Last year, contact sensors – allowing residents to detect whether windows and doors have been closed properly – proved to be the most popular smart home monitoring device, with motion sensors falling in second place.

Both types of device support monitoring functionality but they can also be used for additional applications, notes ABI Research, including energy management.

“Combined, over 84 million contact and motion sensors will ship annually by 2018; however, it is smart plugs, smart door locks and connected smoke and CO detectors that will see the greatest shipment growth,” said Adarsh Krishnan, a senior analyst with ABI Research.

Growth in the market will also spur competition between different wireless protocols used to support smart-device services.

Proprietary wireless protocols have dominated the market for smart home devices so far, but these are now being challenged by standards such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Smart and Zigbee.

ABI Research says each protocol has advantages and disadvantages and some are more suited to the smart appliance rather than the smart device space.

Support in mobile devices for Bluetooth Smart, for instance, seems likely to drive significant adoption of smart home devices as well.

“Even so, other protocols will continue to compete and will be supported in a range of devices from security panels to gateways and smart devices themselves,” said ABI Research in a statement.