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September 8, 2014

How battery makers and service providers will profit from IOT

Cheaper wireless technology to spur smart home device surge by 2022.

By Amy-Jo Crowley

Consumers are set to have over 500 smart devices in their home by 2022 as sensor technologies, such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Zigbee and other tools, become cheaper and more available, according to research.

Most of this value is expected to benefit battery manufacturers and service providers as most domestic wireless smart objects "will be portable and won’t have ready access to a wired power supply."

Nick Jones, VP and distinguished analyst at Gartner, who wrote the report, said:"We expect that a very wide range of domestic equipment will become ‘smart’ in the sense of gaining some level of sensing and intelligence combined with the ability to communicate, usually wirelessly.

"More sophisticated devices will include both sensing and remote control functions. Price will seldom be an inhibitor because the cost of the Internet of Things (IoT) enabling a consumer ‘thing’ will approach $1 in the long term."

As an example of how households could benefit from smart devices, Gartner cites water filters, vacuum cleaners, smart locks and security tools.

Another area where Gartner sees opportunities for smart homes is in government.

"In some countries governments will see the increasing intelligence of domestic technology as a way to influence consumer behaviour or improve the delivery of services to citizens," the report said.

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"For example, sensors and smart products could enable differential taxation; tax on water used for washing could be lower than taxes on water used to irrigate the garden. Another example might be smart trash cans that report when they’re full and need collecting."

However, the report added that a lack of interoperability and standards could also hinder adoption of smart devices.

"Devices in the smart home will demand connectivity; some will demand high reliability as they’ll be performing vital functions such as health monitoring, so homes will require reliable high-speed internet connections," said Jones.

"If these connections fail, many domestic devices might be forced to operate in, at best, a degraded manner. If homes become as dependent on good connectivity as businesses they will need fallback systems."

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