Windstream, Ovum study says U.S. has large addressable market for the connected home

Windstream is dipping its toes into the connected home trend by developing a joint study with Ovum that looks at how broadband connections will serve as a foundation to serve multiple connected home applications for consumers.

In the Smart 2025: The Future of the Connected Home and Community study, the pair looked at three key trends that could potentially shape how the connected home concept could emerge: rise of the connected home, adoption factors, and the role of the Internet of Things (IoT) concept.

According to Ovum, smart technology solutions that focus on security, energy efficiency and home automation are in the early adoption phases, but are expected to penetrate more of the mass market over the next three years. Looking out 10 years, the research firm added that greater interoperability and ease of use will make smart homes a do-it-yourself (DIY) venture for consumers. However, Ovum cautioned that in order to achieve widespread adoption, developers of connected home technologies will have to find ways to reduce cost, device fragmentation and piracy and security concerns.

What will drive adoption of connected home services like smart energy and e-health would be the initial drivers before consumers embrace home automation devices.   

While the IoT connected technologies concept has continued to grow, Ovum said that "an important shift will be the transition from independent smart technologies to a truly smart living experience in which all of the devices and data inform one another."

Ovum added that most of the devices consumers use today operate independently on what could be called "smart islands." However, the smart device, smart home, smart car and even smart city will all provide various links between one another to enable what the research firm calls "smart living." In a typical smart living scenario, a home security system will become part of a larger family security system that may include location, health tracking, on-demand communications, and safety-aware recommendations for everything from driving routes to hotels and restaurants.

Broadband connectivity and entertainment services will have a key profile in the connected home.

"An important part of the connected home, and possibly the most advanced, is media services and entertainment," wrote Ovum in its report. "However, greater smart home integration will lead to even more connection between media services, satisfying the consumer's desire for entertainment while also giving ISPs and their partners more insight into the customers' interests, leading to better advertising."

One of the first steps in bonding entertainment and broadband will be driven by the fact that these elements will be housed in the same device. Already, this phenomenon is happening as more consumers order dual and triple play bundles from their telco or cable operator with a suite of voice, video and data services.

"With a single hub delivering all services, it will be easier to integrate other devices, such as wearables and connected appliances, with the service and deliver information across all the connected devices in the home, rather than just the one currently in the user's hand," wrote Ovum.

For more:
- see the release
- see the study (.pdf)

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