Intellect predicts £3bn 'connected home' market

Intellect, the trade association for the UK's technology sector, has released a report that claims the market for 'connected home' technologies could grow to £3bn a year within the next five years.

In its report, dubbed Connected Homes - a Reality, Intellect claims that within half a decade homeowners will be demanding in-house networking capabilities in order to control energy use, use public services - including education and healthcare - and access new media and entertainment services via internet-connected TVs, tablets and smartphones.

The group claims that the UK's technology industry and the government need to work together if its vision is to come true, however: it claims that technical and security standards, training and certification for retailers and installers and an overall increase in average broadband speeds to at least 6Mbit/s is required for the market to be realised.

"The connected home has been talked about for some time, but it is now potentially the next big technology revolution," Intellect's head of internet and media Colin Batten confidently predicts. "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.

"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," Batten adds.

To push its vision of connected homes, Intellect has announced the Connected Home Forum, designed to bring together the key players in the UK's technology industry to address the issues surrounding mainstream adoption of such technologies.

"British homes could be transformed into hi-tech hubs with communication networks built into them," the report claims, "delivering everything from advanced entertainment services to health care by the end of the decade."

Sadly, the report isn't yet public - making it hard to guess just how far Intellect's vision differs from the current reality of an 802.11n Wi-Fi router in the living room and a smartphone in your pocket.