In recent years, with the development of modern technology, a broader range of smart home services is being marketed to consumers like never before. The maturation of mostly standards-based wireless connectivity technologies such as Wi-Fi, ZigBee, and Z-Wave and the development of open, cloud-based software platforms have ensured that vendors can offer smart home solutions at a fraction of the price of traditional systems. Furthermore, the high penetration of home broadband, the growth in smart phone and tablet ownership, and the continuing deployment of smart meters mean that consumers can easily and affordably control the connected devices in their homes. All of these improvements indicate that the smart home technology will not be relegated to niche market status and is available only to the very affluent or to tech savvy hobbyists like before.
At the same time, in fighting for their slice of the market, device manufacturers, connectivity service providers, and application developers need to know that they must offer solutions that are useful, convenient, affordable, simple, interactive, extensible and compelling. The next stage of the smart home market is not just about connecting other “things” to a central platform; it is about building simplicity and convenience around this platform to better suit people’s lifestyles.