A connected home is networked to enable the interconnection and interoperability of multiple devices, services and apps, ranging from communications and entertainment to healthcare, security and home automation. These services and apps are delivered over multiple interlinked and integrated devices, sensors, tools and platforms. Connected, real-time, smart and contextual experiences are provided for the household inhabitants, and individuals are enabled to control and monitor the home remotely as well as within it.
The technologies behind the connected home can be grouped in the following categories:
- Networking: Familiar home networking technologies (high bandwidth/high power consumption), such as Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA), Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, as well as 3G and Long Term Evolution (LTE), are complemented with low-power consumption networking standards for devices and sensors that require low bandwidth and consume very little power, such as thermostats.
- Media and Entertainment: This category, which covers integrated entertainment systems within the household and includes accessing and sharing digital content across different devices, has proved to be the most prolific and contains some of the most mature technologies in the connected home.
- Home Security/Monitoring and Home Automation: The technologies in this category cover a variety of services that focus on monitoring and protecting the home as well as the remote and automated control of doors, windows, blinds and locks, heating/air conditioning, lighting and home appliances, and more.
- Energy Management: This category is tightly linked to smart cities and government initiatives, yet consumer services and devices/apps are being introduced at mass-market prices that allow people to track, control and monitor their gas/electricity consumption.
- Healthcare, Fitness and Wellness: Solutions and services around healthcare have proven slow to take off, because they have to be positioned within a health plan and sold to hospitals and health insurance companies. The fitness and wellness segment has strong and quickly developed ecosystems that range from devices to sports wares to apps, which integrate seamlessly with each other to create a strong customer experience.