Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Friday, February 04, 2011

Managed Home Automation Services Market Upside

Home automation systems have typically been installed in one of two ways -- the economical, do-it-yourself model, and the expensive custom-designed installation. Both approaches have limited the potential size of the market.

However, a third way is emerging and it promises to fuel tremendous market growth. Home automation as a managed service, provided by a broadband service provider.

Homeowners will be able to monitor their homes remotely, and control basic features such as lighting or air conditioning. These new managed home automation services will both compete with and complement the traditional home security alarm market.

According to the latest market study by ABI Research, there will be more than nine million security cellular wireless M2M connections active in the U.S. market before 2015.

ABI Practice director Sam Lucero says, "Traditional security firms such as ADT will increasingly be joined in the mainstream by these new providers offering managed home automation services."

Verizon Wireless announced such a service at CES this year, and Comcast is currently trialing one in the Houston, Texas area.

They key concept is that these are not primarily security alarm systems but basic home automation systems -- they can incorporate a security alarm system as part of the overall offering. ABI sees this new model becoming mainstream in the 2012-2013 time frame.

However, there are factors that may impact market growth. The key inhibitors are the newness of the technology to the service providers, and to potential subscribers. A significant consumer education process will therefore be required.