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Smart homes are becoming data-centric ecosystems that employ a portfolio of value-added security and convenience services as well as a wide range of smart devices, write Beecham Research’s Robin Duke-Woolley and Bob Emmerson. They include security systems, voice assistants, smart thermostats and smart speakers. The market is healthy and growing. Statista is predicting worldwide consumer spending to reach US$62 billion in 2021 and $88 billion in 2025. The Wireless Broadband Alliance indicates that by 2023 1.6 billion devices will be sold and by the same year the average person will employ more than nine devices.
Wi-Fi 6 will help drive that growth. The new standard allows network access points to communicate simultaneously with more users and devices while using less power. And Wi-Fi 6 routers pack more information into the signals they send, enabling faster and more efﬁcient communications with devices.
In addition to the increased throughput and power saving, Wi-Fi 6 enhances security and lowers latency. The Wi-Fi Alliance raised the security bar with the introduction of WPA3, which must be included in every W-Fi certiﬁed device. In home environments low latency is signiﬁcant for on-line video conferencing, including working from home, as is network prioritisation, which uses VLAN technology in order to prioritise the trafﬁc of key users.