While approximately 1.8 million home automation systems were shipped globally in 2011, ABI Research projects that number will increase to over 12 million shipments by 2016, largely due to the fact that service providers are entering the managed home automation market.
One of the latest entries is Verizon, who has announced the pricing on its home automation control system, based on technology from Motorola Mobility (through its 4Home acquisition), starting at only $9.99 per month. The basic version of Verizon’s Home Monitoring and Control enables remote monitoring and control of cameras, Z-Wave lights, and door locks. For an extra cost, Verizon also offers energy management applications like automatic thermostats, special Wi-Fi adapters that control appliances and lights, and a sensor placed on the circuit box to measure whole-house energy use.
Verizon isn’t the only competitor entering this burgeoning market, however. Service providers worldwide have developed their own home automation service solutions. Rogers Wireless in Canada now offers the Rogers Smart Home Monitoring System as of November 2010, and Orange (France Telecom), offers home monitoring services through its Livebox gateway-enabled broadband service. Telecom Italia and Telestra also offer their own version of home monitoring services.
Despite the influx of products eager to move into this emerging market, companies are still tackling substantial barriers to entry. “Service providers are still facing significant challenges,” says Sam Lucero, practice director, M2M connectivity.
“Telco and cable operators now have to develop and deploy software management platforms to specifically enable the management of home monitoring services. This challenge has resulted in a swift consolidation within the small market that is privately-held home monitoring software platform vendors, with 4Home being acquired by Motorola Mobility, iControl and uControl merging, and Xanboo being acquired by AT&T.”