connected home researchEmbedded wireless networking devices are making inroads in homes around the world. Sales of wireless embedded smart home monitoring devices, including contact and motion sensors, smart thermostats and smart plugs, nearly doubled in 2013 to reach 17.23 million, according to a new report from ABI Research.

ABI forecasts that the momentum will continue, with over 500 million wireless smart home monitoring devices deployed in homes around the world by 2018. Leading home appliance and equipment vendors, such as Honeywell, GE, Google Nest, Kwikset, UTC and others are “increasingly adding wireless connectivity to their home devices, bringing network connectivity and remote management to their offerings in order to appeal to growing numbers of smart home consumers,” ABI notes in a press release.

Contact sensors capable of detecting if windows and doors are closed proved to be the most popular smart home monitoring device shipped in 2013, with motion sensors coming in second, according to the latest from ABI’s Smart Home Research Service. Use of both types of smart home wireless devices can be extended to include applications such as energy management, ABI noted.

“Combined, over 84 million contact and motion sensors will ship annually by 2018; however, it is smart plugs, smart door locks and connected smoke & CO detectors that will see the greatest shipment growth,” ABI senior analyst Adarsh Krishnan was quoted as saying.

The variety of competing smart home device and networking protocols, including ZigBee, Bluetooth Smart and Wi-Fi, will persist even as the market continues to grow, according to ABI.

“Each protocol has its advantages and disadvantages and some will play more to the smart appliance rather than smart device space. For example, Wi-Fi support in residential home-area networks and mobile devices facilitates easy network set-up without additional gateways or bridges but power demands will push adoption into appliances and devices with a fixed power supply.

“For its part, Bluetooth Smart support in mobile devices will also drive significant adoption in smart home devices. Even so, other protocols will continue to compete and will be supported in a range of devices from security panels to gateways and smart devices themselves.”

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