Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Home Automation going mainstream with wireless sensors in consumer appliances

LONDON, UK: Driven by a new era of standardization, wireless sensors are increasingly available in home appliances ranging from TV remotes to energy monitoring, with more devices and applications on the way.

Worldwide shipments of IEEE 802.15.4 wireless sensor network (WSN) chipsets into the home are forecast to exceed 242 million a year by 2015, up from just 8.5 million in 2010. With a CAGR of 74% during the same period, standardized chipsets are quickly replacing proprietary wireless offerings by driving down costs and simplifying the inclusion of short-range wireless connectivity in home devices.

“The home wireless sensor networking (WSN) market is approaching the inflection point,” says ABI Research principal analyst Jonathan Collins. “WSN communications are already making inroads into the home market and that uptake is set to gain momentum as wireless sensing shifts from a bespoke home automation luxury to a more mainstream option.”

Utilities around the world are driving investment in wireless home devices by preparing to add standardized wireless connectivity into their home meters. These meters can then communicate with WSN equipment throughout the home including thermostats and lighting controllers, as well as appliances giving home owners more information about, and greater control of, their energy usage.

In addition, the ZigBee RF4CE specification which also uses 802.15.4 ICs is already making headway replacing Infra-Red remotes with the support of CE players including major players Philips, Samsung, Sony and Panasonic.

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