Friday, June 01, 2001

The Next Big Step, Residential Gateway Crucial to the Adoption of Home-Automation Technologies

Industry analysts believe that residential gateways are poised for enormous growth over the next several years. For example, Parks Associates, Dallas, Texas, estimates that the emerging market for residential gateways will more than triple over the next five years, growing from 8.6 million units in 2001 to more than 33 million units by 2005.

“The early market for residential gateways suffered from the absence of both sufficient home-networking technologies and consumer demand,” says Michael Greeson, an analyst for Parks Associates. “Today, however, the technologies most essential to the development of more functional and less expensive residential gateways—including advances in semiconductor design such as system-on-a-chip solutions—will soon be readily available. Moreover, with the market for residential broadband Internet service rapidly expanding, there is interest in the commercial possibilities of the residential gateway because of its unique ability to enable many value-added services.”

.... Parks Associates concurs that more practical uses of the device are becoming increasingly attractive to consumers.

“Although much of the press touting the early market for home networks and gateways has largely focused on such capabilities as shared Internet access and distributed entertainment content; energy management features will be critical components of networked homes and businesses,” says Kurt Scherf, a home networks analyst for Parks.

Other management systems rated as appealing by consumers include lighting and home-control and enhanced home security, although energy management has been shown the greatest interest by consumers, says a Parks Associates report.

Analysts at Parks also point out that that the gateway solution increases the overall value and functionality of the in-home network.

“The projected growth in broadband Internet and home-networking revenue is phenomenal,” says Ian Bryant, a research analyst for Parks. “With such tremendous growth occurring over the next four years, broadband Internet and home networking will become fairly standard in the home. This increased adoption will act as a driver for residential gateway development as technology management becomes a necessity for the average consumer.”

Bryant adds that in order to take full advantage of the many applications that home networking and broadband have to offer, the best bet for the consumer is to integrate a residential gateway into the system.

From the article "The Next Big Step, Residential Gateway Crucial to the Adoption of Home-Automation Technologies," by Lacey Stark. 

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