The smart home controller sector, which includes control panels, gateways and bridges for home automation services, is projected to grow to $6 billion worldwide by 2019.
According to a recent report by ABI Research, smart home automation controller shipments will blossom due to ongoing mass-market interest, lower costs and an expanding supplier base.
Despite a crowded field that includes ADT and Trane, as well as service offerings from AT&T, Apple and others, cable providers, such as Time Warner Cable, Comcast, Cox Communications and Suddenlink Communications, have branched out into home automation and security services offerings as a way to add incremental revenues. Cable operators’ advantage is that they have existing relationships with home automation and security customers through their broadband services.
On the vendor side, Cisco, Netgear, Belkin and Technicolor have offered home automation products for service providers, but ABI said they would be pushed by new entrants into the marketplace. ABI said smartThings, Revolv, and Securifi were making inroads through crowd funding platforms and online retailers.
“Future growth in home automation controllers will increasingly come from the need to accommodate multiple application segments such as home healthcare, lighting control, security and home energy management,” said ABI senior analyst Adarsh Krishnan. “These applications and new features such as voice and gesture control, and machine learning algorithms will define controller products of the future.”
In order to connect the various devices in the growing home automation ecosystem, ABI Research expects the number of radios per controller to increase. While standards-based radios will continue to gain share, proprietary radio technologies such as Sigma Designs Z-wave technology are expected to stay relevant in future controller offerings. Cellular will also grow its presence as a backhaul connection.