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Home Automation: The Unfulfilled Promise
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 Posted: Wednesday May 6th, 2009 12:22 pm
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See full article  at http://www.technewsworld.com/story/Home-Automation-The-Unfulfilled-Promise-66973.html
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"Aside from managing simple tasks like lighting and thermostat control, home automation systems haven't taken on much of a role in the household. However, as new technologies like home computer networks get a foothold in consumers' homes, and as smart grid technologies gain greater acceptance, home automation systems may reach a tipping point.
For the last 30 years, many people have invested a lot of money and effort chasing an unrealized promise of hoped-for explosive growth in home automation. With not a lot of commercial progress, it might be seen as foolish to pursue opportunities in this space. However, the promise of addressing latent needs of the 100 million households in the U.S. -- and the rest of the world -- to create a new consumer electronics (CE) category is highly seductive.
For a number of reasons, it may be timely to consider lessons learned in past failed efforts to kick-start a mainstream home automation business in order to try to surface some real, near-term opportunities.
Like so many new opportunities in the CE space, there is a short list of success criteria that must be understood and evaluated. It is easy to over- or underestimate the timing because of the highly nonlinear nature of drivers of success balanced against the inhibitors of growth. Only when the cumulative weights of these success criteria are satisfied can we overcome the inhibitors and thereby cause a new product category to take off. So, analysis of the reality of opportunities for home automation is a two-step process consisting of understanding the success criteria and determining whether enough has changed in the last 30 years to reach the tipping point..."



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