The Internet of Things (IoT) in the Home market in Australia is still in its early stages of growth as consumers have yet fully adopted smart home solutions in their residential set-ups. However, the introduction of smart home solutions, innovations in technology and new business models, combined with changes in the competitive landscape and new distribution channels are shifting the dynamics from a vendor-driven one to a more consumer-centric market.

Frost & Sullivan’s new Australian IoT in the Home Market 2015 report identifies energy management and security solutions as the fastest growing applications, with cost savings, efficiency and security taking precedence over previously dominant factors such as convenience and comfort. Involving both smart home and home automation solutions, this will drive demand for IoT in the Home solutions, with the market value expected to tip A$200 million by 2020.

“Smart home solutions and home automation applications make up the IoT in the Home market. Smart home solutions have gained popularity in Australia as most are available as Do-It-Yourself (DIY) solutions and are cost effective and relatively easy to integrate. This segment will contribute the lion’s share of the total IoT market by 2020,” said Sandeep Karuppuswamy, Industry Analyst, Information Communication Technologies Group, Australia & New Zealand, Frost & Sullivan.

The home automation segment has typically held the larger percentage of the total IoT in the Home market revenues in the past few years and while it will be larger segment throughout most of the forecast period, its share of the total IoT in the Home market is expected to reduce to just over 30% percent by 2020. “Smart home solutions offer functionality customisation and reduced cost, so over the next 5 years, more consumers will opt for this over home automation solutions,” added Karuppuswamy.

Over the next 3 years, from a communication protocol standpoint, facilitated by ease of use, and availability and integration with existing routers and modems, Wi-Fi enabled smart home solutions will dominate the market. Wi-Fi’s dominance is also due to limited availability of smart home devices functioning on other communication protocols, such as ZigBee and Z-Wave, though as the market evolves, this availability will increase. It is anticipated the market will then experience two major changes. First, an increased number of smart hub manufacturers will roll out smart hubs that will accommodate smart home devices functioning on different communicating protocols. Second, consumers will likely invest in communication protocols from smart home manufacturers like ZigBee and Z-Wave who would then be aggressively promoting their solutions in Australia.

The Australian smart home solutions market comprises participants from diverse industries; including players from building automation and control, technology, telecom providers, smart appliance manufacturers and security systems vendors. Each of them provides smart home solutions by leveraging core competencies. Building automation and control players, such as Honeywell, ABB and Crestron, possess strong capabilities in automation, while technology companies, such as Google and Samsung, bring solutions that are driven by IoT and advanced technologies.

The smart home solutions market represents an opportunity for telecom providers as they already provide many of their fixed line, broadband and voice solutions on a subscription based model.

As the market matures, Australia’s telecom providers such as Telstra, Optus, iiNet, Vodafone etc. are expected to roll-out similar IoT in the Home models to those existing in other countries by leading global telecom providers, such as AT&T and SK Telecom. The availability of smart home solutions “as-a-service” will further promote widespread adoption.

Challenges to mass adoption of smart home solutions include poor market awareness, lack of availability of protocol technologies (such as Z-wave and Zigbee) for smart home solutions, lack of availability of smart home solutions “as-a-service” and the lack of interoperability between competing technologies/protocols and vendors. Consumer challenges across both smart home solutions and the home automation applications include apprehensions over data security, high initial costs, high maintenance costs, likelihood of failure compared to manual systems and difficulties with installation. Australia’s poor overall infrastructure and poor availability and low adoption rate of latest technologies are also limiting factors of widespread adoption of IoT in the Home solutions.

Frost & Sullivan’s Australian IoT in the Home Market 2015 forms part of the Frost & Sullivan Australia and New Zealand Cloud, Data Centre and Infrastructure 2015 research program. All research services included in this subscription provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.

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