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Home Automation Systems Set To Boom

This is according to new research published by ABI Research, which says the addressable market which is currently seeing shipments of around 1.8 million will exceed 12 million shipments by 2016 as a result of wireless and powerline technologies which are driving system costs down and expanding the addressable market.

New innovations such as Google’s Android@Home Framework software which sits on top of the newest Android OS and allows devices such as light switches and consumer appliances to be discovered and connected to a central home application, are also increasing the appeal of home automation systems to users, by giving them easy control through a smartphone.

The new software also allows a low power wireless communications protocol to support device connectivity in cases where WiFi is not available or practical.

In addition the new Google software provides significant competition to traditional home automation software sold by the big automation providers, with Google now competing against the likes of Control 4 (Cisco), Honeywell, iControl and Motorola (4Home).

While the new software is being proclaimed as a ‘Zigbee Killer’, practice director at ABI, Sam Lucero, believes otherwise.

He said: “Talk of Android@Home as a ZigBee Killer (or Z-Wave Killer, etc.) largely misses the point. The wireless protocol announced along with the Framework seems positioned almost as an afterthought. ABI Research believes the Framework is more directly targeted as competition for the software now being provided by vendors such as Control4, Motorola Mobility (via its 4Home acquisition), iControl, and others.”

However, Lucero notes, these incumbent vendors themselves are engaged in consolidation and partnership development.

ABI Research’s study analyses the market for home automation and home security technologies and shows how these two markets are increasingly intersecting with the advent of home monitoring and managed home automation. Also central is an examination of trends in the use of cellular wireless technologies.