Smart home technology ready for the masses

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The 'smart home' is becoming a mass market reality driven by emerging standards, increasing energy costs and advances in wireless sensor networking, new research claims..

A survey of more than 100 US home electronics installers, vendors and suppliers by ON World found that the wireless smart home market is accelerating rapidly.

Indicators of this growth include hundreds of products currently shipping, and established service providers such as AT&T and SK Telecom starting to offer home monitoring services using wireless sensor networking.

"While proprietary wireless sensor networking systems have been used by professional installers in luxury homes for over a decade, wireless protocols such as Z-Wave and ZigBee will make smart home solutions affordable for the average household," said Darryl Gurganious, senior research analyst for ON World.

ON World estimates a total potential market size of six billion cumulative wireless sensor networking nodes worldwide.

Some of the largest and fastest growing smart home markets include lighting, energy management, security, entertainment control and home health.

The wireless sensor networking smart home market will be worth US$2.8bn worldwide by 2012, up from US$470m in 2007, the research firm estimates.

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