Gartner has predicted that global mobile devices — other than smartphones with a mobile data plan — per household will increase by more than eight percent annually through 2016 while 60 million Wi-Fi-only devices (mostly tablets) per year will be added to the household around the world. Gartner says the take rates of other video-specific Internet-connectible devices, such as TVs, set-top boxes, digital video recorders (DVRs), video players, game consoles and cameras, will also grow as manufacturers progressively make connectivity a default feature in most devices.
“Until three or four years ago, consumers primarily accessed the Internet through PCs and laptops but at the beginning of 2013, the picture is very different,” said Amanda Sabia, principal research analyst at Gartner. “Consumers use multiple screens to perform various activities that require both fixed and mobile Internet connectivity, from watching and sharing videos and photos, to playing games, to accessing social networks, to banking and paying bills online. Consumers are screen-agnostic — they will use whichever screen is convenient, as long as it is ‘connected.’”
“There are almost 10 potentially Internet-enabled devices in the home today and while consumers primarily use the home network to share and view video content, the home network also enables other applications, such as home protection, monitoring and security, as well as fitness and health monitoring,” said Fernando Elizalde, principal research analyst at Gartner.”
“The increase in connected devices will require reliable broadband connectivity that is networked throughout the home,” said Ms. Sabia. “The fixed broadband connection enables the most reliable and robust online experience within the home that can be shared, via a home network, to multiple devices in the home. The combination of an increasing number of Internet-connected devices and the expanding need for Internet services beyond communication, information and entertainment to include home monitoring and security could create interesting opportunities for communications service providers (CSPs). These include upselling possibilities for CSPs, such as selling faster fixed broadband services to preserve the user experience and to create a competitive advantage over other providers offering similar services.”
Gartner says it believes that home automation solutions will become an integral part of the home network. The main challenge is the multiplicity of home automation wireless standards. Wi-Fi is widely deployed in homes today, but the high power consumption of devices using this technology is a challenge in home automation. Hence, several wireless technologies other than Wi-Fi that use a lot less power are currently being used.