Why 2015 is turning into the year of the Smart Home

connected home

The Connected Home: The Next Big Thing?

There was a time, not too long ago, when the connected home was just a crazy ideal for the future. Films such as Back to the Future portrayed a futuristic vision where your home security system would react to your fingerprint; lights would turn on when you told them to, your home would know when you were close-by and you could control everything from your mobile phone.

Well, while the smart home may still be some way from mainstream adoption, these very real products are already being pioneered by companies like Nest, Honeywell, and Philips.

Developing an Integrated Platform

Some of these products may already be available on the market, but consensus in the industry is that for consumers to truly enjoy a connected home experience, they need a fully integrated platform. The same applies to the entire IoT, with interoperability being the number one priority for operators. Interoperability ensures everything connected can communicate with each other – creating a seamless and reliable service.

To give you an example of what this looks like, Z-Wave’s smart home platform allows you to use your tablet or smart phone to “control your environment”. This includes features like creating a “wake up scene”, which heats the house, turns on the right amount of lights and starts making your morning coffee – sounds great right? In practise it does looks appealing, with operators such as AT&T using it to create a powerful “digital life” proposition.

Improving In-Home Broadband Connectivity 

It’s no surprise that for a connected home to become a reality, a reliable, superfast broadband connection is needed. As many devices throughout the home use Wi-Fi to connect, it’s key that Wi-Fi can handle the growing demands of multiple devices and allows customers to benefit from the high speeds FTTH delivers, all the way throughout the home.

Our lead-stream sponsor for the Connected Home at Broadband World Forum, AirTies, advertise 100% wireless coverage in homes, and seamless wireless integration at “the touch of a button”. It will be intriguing to see their session as they present WiFi network data from real homes, which apparently show mobile devices, create a “perfect storm” and dramatically limit performance.

And it’s not just Wi-Fi which will need to up its game. With everything connected in the home demanding bandwidth, and customers accessing more bandwidth-intensive services like UHD content, homes will be needing those faster speeds being advertised by operators. It’s yet to be seen how far in the future we will have to peer to see full FTTH connectivity but for now it looks like technologies like G.fast and DOCSIS 3.1 will be the chosen ones to take us closer to 1Gbps speeds.

At Broadband World Forum

This year we are putting a spotlight on the Connected Home within our Connected World conference track, as well as exploring the topic of interoperability further, with the Access Innovation Zone.

Register for the conference to hear the latest on connected home strategies from AirTies, Swisscom, Orange, Telstra, Nestlabs, Virgin Media EDF Commerce, Z-Wave and many more.

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