Home Entertainment as the Beachhead for Home Automation

Home entertainment is the key application that will provide traction for the home automation market

Oyster Bay, NY - June 29, 2006 - Of all the household products and systems

that might benefit from automation and control, home entertainment will
offer the path of least resistance for vendors, according to a new study
from ABI Research.

'Home entertainment is the key application that will provide traction for
the home automation market,' says senior analyst Sam Lucero.

Home automation has been around in two forms for at least 30 years.
Commercial systems offering control of lighting, climate, appliances,
security, and more have long been available from companies such as AMX and
Crestron. They are sophisticated and expensive. At the other end of the
scale, X -10, an inexpensive powerline -based technology, has been embraced by
hobbyists and tinkerers, but has proved too limited and complicated for mass
adoption.

The large market in the middle has remained untapped, but that may be about
to change. With the relatively recent introduction of interoperable new
technologies such as Z -Wave, ZigBee, and INSTEON, new vendors such as
Intermatic, Monster Cable, and Universal Electronics have entered the
market, targeting mainstream households.

Home theater systems are increasingly making their way into middle -class
homes, and consumers clearly want to integrate their multimedia into
residential life. Although home automation can control heating, cooling and
ventilation, safety, security and access systems, pools and spas,
appliances, and irrigation, vendors will find automation systems supporting
home entertainment (control of lighting and curtains, for example) gaining
the earliest mass market acceptance.

'Most people in the mainstream market just don't know about home automation
technology, what it can do for them, or how it's implemented,' Lucero adds.
'Customer education is a key challenge for vendors.' For that reason, ABI
Research believes that high -touch retail will be best model for informing
customers and deploying automation systems in their homes. 'Certain
subsystems may be amenable to off -the -shelf sales, but more complex systems
require a consultative sales model, which can be provided by stores such as
Magnolia and M -Design.'

ABI Research's study 'Home Automation and Control' examines the technologies, companies, and
market forces that are poised to make home automation and control a
mainstream phenomenon. It forms part of the firm's Home Networking and M2M Research Services.

Founded in 1990 and headquartered in New York, ABI Research maintains global
operations supporting annual research programs, intelligence services and
market reports in broadband and multimedia, RFID and M2M, wireless
connectivity, mobile wireless, transportation and emerging technologies. For
information visit www.abiresearch.com, or call +1.516.624.2500.

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