The number of Internet-connected homes or smart homes is expected to grow from 100 to 200 million homes today to between 500 to 700 million homes by 2020, according to Gartner.
New research by US information technology and advisory firm Gartner cites smart household appliances such as smart stoves, smart lighting and other electronic devices as the primary driver of internet-connected homes.
Gartner states that: “All this [home appliances and electronics] and also many more devices require a connection gateway to monitor and control the home as a holistic platform of devices and appliances”.
Principal research analyst at the Connecticut-based advisory company Paul O’Donovan said that many Internet of Things (IoT) applications are stimulated by sensors and require data management, “but there is no single IoT gateway to the home”.
“As Internet-connected homes become increasingly smarter, the gateway is becoming the 'center' for connecting the different devices and home appliances to make the management of the ecosystem happen,” added O’Donovan.
Internet-connected homes spur P&S creation
Gartner notes that internet-connected homes are targeted by multiple product and service industries.
Home entertainment service providers, internet service companies, home security companies and mobile phone operating system providers – are all actively creating platforms and ecosystems in an attempt to break into the market.
Gartner explains - “Multiple home platforms have emerged, designed to capitalize on or create an ecosystem of smart home things that the gateway must connect to.
“Some of the platforms are beginning to open up, or at least work with the others to minimize the different number of platforms that the consumer and the gateway must deal with.
“Some smart home solutions are even taking advantage of this void and creating hubs that act as a central command system for the smart home devices, using multiple communication protocols to connect to all of the smart devices in the home and communicate to the world through the IoT gateway.”
The firm notes that the ideal home gateway needs to effortlessly connect with any vendor’s IoT application requiring no extra effort by the user and not limiting the platform only to connect to a particular operating system supporting devices.
O’Donovan concluded: “[In the] longer term, there will need to be an integrated device, whereby the gateway is also the hub, or integrated hub and gateway solutions will be needed.”