British homes could be transformed into hi-tech hubs with communication networks built into them, delivering everything from advanced entertainment services to health care by the end of the decade, a report by Intellect, the trade body for the technology industry, has predicted.
The report, Connected Homes – a Reality, says that there could be a well established connected home market in five years worth £3 billion (€3.5bn) a year.
Homeowners will be able to control energy use, access public services including education and healthcare as well as receive new media and entertainment services, all linked into a variety of devices including Internet connected TVs, tablets and smart phones.
But the report warns that the lifestyle revolution will only happen if industries and government come together to agree technical and security standards provide training and certification for retailers and installers and actively promote consumer confidence in the technology and support on offer. Broadband speeds will also need to be increased to at least 6Mbps.
According to Colin Batten, Intellect’s Head of Internet and Media, the connected home has been talked about for sometime but it is now potentially the next big technology revolution. “Most homes already have islands of technology but the truly connected home will be more than just an aggregation of different services and devices. Everything will be linked through one network giving people access to exciting new services,” he advised.
“The devices and services which make up the connected home are either already available or being developed, so will ultimately arrive in everyone’s home. The challenge is to ensure people can get the most out of them by providing a joined up, robust network and not a piecemeal service, which would leave UK householders in the digital slow-lane,” he added.
Intellect has set out a series of recommendations to deliver the promise of connected home including creating a Connected Home Forum to bring together the key players who need to work together to tackle the major issues. This will include the house building industry, retailers, technology companies, content creators and financial service companies.