Mobile: The Future Of The Connected Home

Recent research by Parks Associates forecasts that there will be a dramatic shift in the composition of the Connected Home market over the next 5 years, with connected consumer electronics and mobile devices – primarily smartphones and tablets – making up a whopping 80% of the predicted 7 billion connected nodes worldwide by 2015.

As well as the predicted wide-spread adoption mobile devices, the study – which focused on the US market – also found that one-third of the consumers surveyed were prepared to pay up to $5 per month to get premium content to their mobile device.

As mobile data capacity improves, with the wider implementation of LTE/4G networks, so will the amount of mobile devices connected to the Internet beyond 2015, as consumers get more from their mobiles. A report by consultancy firm Analysys Mason predicts that around 16 billion devices will be connected to the Internet by 2020.

Jim Morrish, the author of the report and principal analyst at Analysys Mason comments, “That figure might actually be a conservative estimate. Taking into account the uncertainties inherent in forecasting new technologies 10 years out, we believe that a realistic number of devices may be 44 billion, and 6 billion a realistic minimum.

“That’s a worldwide average of between 0.8 and 5.8 internet-enabled devices for each person alive in 2020.”

The smartphone and the tablet will eventually become the main portals through which consumers access the Internet and as more and more data can be transmitted over mobile networks, consumers will use them as remote controllers for their Connected Homes. Viewing aggregated data, managing devices and controlling smart appliances in the home will all become common functions of mobile devices, particularly as consumers start to become familiar with wireless device technology and smart appliances.

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Kevin Meagher is CEO at Intamac Systems. Kevin is a chartered engineer with an MBA who has become recognised as one of the global pioneers of the connected home. Formerly a group captain in the Royal Air Force, he opted for a dramatic career change when he saw how a new generation of Web-based platforms could be used to monitor and control devices in the home. He founded Intamac in 2001 to exploit the technology and launch a range of new value-added services for the mass market. Kevin remains keen on sports and plays squash, golf and soccer – when anyone will have him in the team.