IDC Finds More Than 50% of Consumers Interested in Home Automation Services

FRAMINGHAM, MA – SEPTEMBER 11, 2008 – The home monitoring market is set to undergo major transformation as a result of robust consumer interest and the emergence of new technologies offering digitally networked services and enhanced functionality compared with traditional systems. In a recent IDC poll of 1,500 consumers, more than half expressed interest in the ability to monitor and control heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, as well as electricity and home appliances from an external PC or wireless phone.

The home security and monitoring market, traditionally dominated by ADT and Brink's, has changed little in decades and remained largely unaffected by the Internet. The major difference between traditional and next-generation security systems is that the latter are broadband-based and offer redundant connectivity via wireless and voice, while most ADT systems rely on voice or wireless alone. Likewise, the home automation market is not mature and has few consumer applications with widespread appeal and ease of use. Emerging vendors profiled in a new IDC study include InGrid, iControl, and uControl. The latter two allow the networking of compatible home utilities and appliances, linking home security and monitoring with energy management, and can potentially bring home automation to the mainstream.

"The new home security systems are digital, broadband-based, and give the user unprecedented control, including the ability to log in and control systems from anywhere," said Irene Berlinsky, research analyst, Multiplay Services. "New distribution channels through cable and telecommunications companies will reach non-traditional customers and potentially expand the entire market."

Changes in the American landscape (aging baby boomers, rising energy prices) will increase long-term demand for home security/monitoring/automation services. The speed of adoption will depend on how quickly service providers roll out such services to their customers. They are in an ideal position to push these services because consumers contact them directly to sign up for or transfer service upon moving to a new residence. Also, existing customers that move are likely to call their cable or telco before their home security provider, presenting an opportunity for the former to sell a home monitoring service compatible with legacy systems.

IDC's recently released study, Securing the Bundle: How Home Security and Monitoring Can Reduce Cable/Telco Churn (IDC #213849), analyzes consumer interest in home security and monitoring services. IDC supplements survey data with research and comparison of emerging home security/monitoring vendors to show how these services can be leveraged to reduce customer churn.

About IDC

IDC is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1,000 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. For more than 44 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting www.idc.com.

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