The rise of the ‘Smart Home’
‘Intel inside’ – I am sure we all know what that means within the laptop and PC market. Recently, Intel has been endeavouring to acquire a market share within the smartphone sector and has launched a number of own-brand smartphone devices powered by Intel processors. This in turn offers the potential for Intel to expand its reach across the rapidly evolving – and highly competitive – value chain of the “smart home”: “As an increasing number of devices become connected to the Internet, Intel Corp. is looking to new markets, such as home entertainment, for major growth opportunities”, stated Intel’s CFO Stacy Smith during the Reuters Media and Technology Summit. While the industry is rather fast and loose with its terminology – ‘Smart Home’ here, ‘Digital Home’ there, ‘Connected Home’ somewhere else – the terms are broadly synonymous and can be (indeed are) used interchangeably. There are many definitions that can be attributed to the smart home concept and these definitions have evolved over the years to include different facets of connected life such as entertainment, control, security and health. Broadband connectivity has moved beyond its traditional use cases, and new applications along with enhanced services have emerged such as: connected TVs, home automation systems and smart meters. This is where Intel sees the opportunity to drive the demand for more chipsets, processors and other infrastructures to support the adoption of smart homes. Well, I must add that Intel is most certainly not the only player looking into the smart home market for growth and additional revenue opportunities: witness activities from vendors such as Qualcomm Atheros and the US operators AT&T and Verizon. The opportunity exists for players: from chipset and hardware module vendors to cable operators, from service providers to platform providers. Our latest research on this market pegs the value of the ‘Smart Home’ market at $60bn by 2017, rising from $25 billion this year - driven by strong growth within the Smart Home Entertainment segment, along with contributions from other segments including Smart Monitoring & Control and Smart Health. I will discuss this further in more detail in my next blog when I look into the land grab within the smart home ecosystem. You can access the new report and the accompanying whitepaper here.