Home Controls Industry Poised to Cross 30-year old Chasm

Contributing Editor: Wayne Caswell, CAZITech Consulting


Home Systems: Home Controls - Seventh Edition, written in conjunction with Parks Associates and published in September 2004, examines new developments in lighting, HVAC, security, entertainment, and appliances to conclude that "the home controls industry is poised to cross a 30-year-old chasm separating high-end new homes from much bigger opportunities in mainstream retrofit markets."

The professional installation required of proprietary technologies and structured wiring have limited most home control opportunities to high-end new homes, a market representing less than one-tenth of one percent of U.S. households per year. Similarly, products based on X-10 technologies are unable to scale up-market to support more than 256 devices with fast and reliable response.

But traditional applications and market segments are blending together because of digital convergence and disruptive technologies. For example, new powerline and wireless standards simplify installation and may be applied across market segments from small homes to large commercial office buildings. They could be disruptive forces in the home controls industry, especially because some have the capacity to carry not just control signals but also data, streaming entertainment, and phone calls, thus making it much easier to integrate different applications.

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