Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wireless Home Electronics Market Upside

According to an ABI Research market study, shipments of four classes of wireless audio and video connectivity products for the home -- which barely amount to 150 million this year -- are expected to increase to nearly 700 million worldwide by the end of 2013.

The technologies in question are Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, UWB (ultra-wideband) and 60 GHz -- the likely standard-bearer for in-home wireless distribution of uncompressed high-definition video. ABI Research has long maintained that as the wireless home electronics market grows, these technologies will coexist and become closely integrated according to their strengths and specialties.

"Wireless video and audio connectivity within the home is still an early-adopter's market," notes senior analyst Douglas McEuen.

As prevalent as wireless connectivity is in the home, it's still a small proportion compared to the potential overall market, and even smaller when it's a question of in-home media networks. However as these systems begin to appear in consumers homes, word of the benefits will spread, boosting acceptance levels.

While the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi markets are already large and well-established, those for UWB and 60 GHz -- especially the latter -- are in their infancy. However, says McEuen, "Once UWB begins to hit its stride around 2010, it will show the highest year-over-year growth rate of any of the four technologies."

Much of the growth of home connectivity markets will follow a steady progression, but it could be accelerated by the activities of a few companies which, the study says, are pushing the technological envelope.