Tuesday, March 20, 2001

Smarter homes are no dumb joke

Equipment and services providing such connectivity at a reasonable cost have begun to emerge from a variety of sources.  As a result, sales of devices used in home automation systems will increase from $1.3 billion this year to $2.5 billion in 2005, with Internet connectivity an important factor driving that growth, according to Kurt Scherf, vice president of research at Parks Associates, a research firm in Dallas.

....When a standard does emerge, the next key step will be the arrival of "plug-and-play" home control products - devices and systems that can be purchased at a retailer, brought home, and installed with little hassle, says Parks Associates' Scherf.  When you see them on the shelf (which you can expect in two to three years), the technology will be ready to take off.

In the end, though, the reasons for the success - or failure - of the technology will come down to human factors.  "Providing consumers with greater control over energy management, lightning, and home security systems will provide a boost to this market," says Scherf.  "Our research tells me people feel out of control.  They want to have more control over lots of things, including their homes."

From the article "Smarter homes are no dumb joke," by Robert Poe.

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