SOURCE: Frost & Sullivan

Frost & Sullivan

March 23, 2011 03:00 ET

Developments in Adjacent Sectors Open Opportunities for Home Automation to Reach a Wider Audience, Says Frost & Sullivan

LONDON--(Marketwire - March 23, 2011) - Offering an easy to use and install home automation system has been a fundamental challenge facing manufacturers. Designing a control panel that can offer a wide range of complex features, but in a way that makes control simple and easy to learn, is an essential factor to success in the market. Over the recent years, manufacturers have achieved significant improvements on this aspect. As a result, home automation systems are becoming increasingly simpler for both end users and installers, driving the market forward and reaching a wider audience. Technology advances too are helping create innovative and affordable systems that reach a more extensive customer base.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (http://www.buildingtechnologies.frost.com), European Home Automation Markets, finds that the market earned revenues of EUR 168.3 million in 2009 and estimates this to reach EUR 228.7 million in 2015, at a compound annual growth rate of 5.1 per cent.

If you are interested in more information on this study, please send an e-mail to Chiara Carella, Corporate Communications, at chiara.carella@frost.com, with your full name, company name, title, telephone number, company website, city and country.

"Home automation has witnessed major changes over the recent years; the most significant has been the introduction of tablet computers which are having a major impact on the home automation market, particularly the luxury segment," states Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Hammam Ahmed. "So far the market has satisfactorily addressed the new developments and is set to benefit from these advances in a manner that will promote home automation and make it available to a wider customer base."

One of the key differentiators between a luxury home automation system and a simple system is the user interface. In the past, luxury home automation companies dedicated large resources and R&D efforts to developing an easy-to-use interface.

"Now, with the introduction of tablet computers, initially by Apple and followed by other players, the market will soon be inundated with tablet computers used as a user interface with inexpensive, easy-to-develop home automation applications," remarks Ahmed. "This will have a positive impact on the home automation market, with touch screen user interfaces becoming largely affordable to a new segment of end users."

However, home automation systems are lifestyle products that are considered non-essential by many end users. Moreover, property developers are often cautious of investing in home automation systems, refraining from adding further cost which might not be perceived by end users as an added value to the property.

Home automation systems are not particularly inexpensive products. However, prices of home automation have been declining due to various factors, including increasing competition among market participants and the pressure on manufacturers to reduce profit margins during the economic recession.

Nevertheless, the most important factor that has impacted home automation system prices is the introduction of the tablet computer, which offers the promise of substantially reducing the cost of the overall system, particularly in the luxury segment of the market. This makes home automation more affordable, boosting sales of the mid-range product segment.

"The introduction of tablet computers -- particularly Apple's iPad -- is having a huge impact on the luxury segment of the home automation market," concludes Ahmed. "Using a touch screen tablet computer as a user interface can save up to 50% of the home automation system price; home automation manufacturers should therefore shift their R&D focus from hardware user interfaces to software applications and embrace the new technology."

The concept of controlling a home remotely is starting to emerge and change the way home automation is defined, particularly with more Internet-connected devices and faster broadband connections.

"Home automation has evolved to keep pace with the high rate of technology advancement and the increasingly complex and connected lifestyles," concludes Ahmed. "As smart phones and tablet computers become ever more popular, there will be exciting opportunities for home automation manufacturers to develop interesting user interfaces without developing expensive hardware interfaces."

European Home Automation Markets is part of the Building Management Technologies Growth Partnership Services programme, which also includes research in the following markets: European Lighting Control Systems Market, Opportunities in European BIPV Market, Opportunities in the European Heat Pump Market and European Fire & Safety Market: Opportunities by Vertical Application Sector. All research services included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.

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European Home Automation Markets
M5E3

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