Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Friday, July 01, 2011

Mobile Cloud Services will Simplify In-Home Apps

Today's smartphones now act like full-featured media servers -- capable of connecting automatically to other consumer devices such as TVs, picture frames, game consoles and audio systems.

DLNA and Wi-Fi Direct certification programs will further simplify wireless connectivity. But new mobile cloud services may provide even easier access to people's content while at home.

"Wi-Fi Direct enables a device to connect directly to another device without a wireless network. DLNA‑certified devices discover other certified devices, eliminating the need for a consumer to configure the connection," says ABI Research senior analyst Victoria Fodale.

Both programs help mitigate the difficulties that consumers often face when attempting to connect Wi-Fi enabled devices at home, and both bring wireless technology further into the mainstream market.

ABI Research expects that both Wi-Fi Direct- and DLNA-enabled smartphones will grow strongly, at compound average growth rates (CAGR) of 63 percent and 23 percent, respectively, through 2016.

However, home networks will grow at only 4 percent -- which shows a clear disconnect between smartphone capability and use of home networks.

"Although Wi-Fi connectivity is ubiquitous in smartphones, and the number of wireless home networks is growing steadily in developed markets, network configuration remains challenging for the average consumer," adds Fodale.

There are, however, alternatives. The cloud services offered by Amazon, Google and Apple allow consumers direct access to both user-generated and licensed media.

"If they are easier and more convenient for consumers, mobile cloud services could completely bypass the need for integration with home networks or entertainment equipment," says mobile device practice manager Kevin Burden.