02 are planning to enter the smart home market during summer 2016, brining the AT&T ‘Digital Life’ product to the UK, representing the holding companies first foray into the European smart home market.
02 have 25 million U.K. Customers and the new offering will allow them to offer a smart home system which connects their heating, security and energy systems
This comes at a time of rapid adoption of smart homw tech in the uk market, led by an onslaught of vendors showing their wares at the consumer electronics show in Las Vegas last month. By the end of 2016 there one third of uk homes will have some form of smart home functionality in place, showcasing this technology as the major breakout consumer good sector of 2016.
02 have signed the partnership with the American group AT&T, meaning the Americans provide the technology and broadly at least, 02 bring the consumers. With 25m customers this represents a chance to escalate the whole smart home trend markedly, and to beat those forecasts.
The solution will fall in line with the common model – one central hub which brings the brains and a raft of devices which talk with it. Besides the aforementioned devices, others will also work including smart appliances and even smart plugs, locks and sensors – such as smoke alarms.
keeping true to their mobile telecoms background, the hub will be loaded with a 4G SIM card, enabling it to stay connected, chew through data and also to act as backup broadband.
This deal will be attractive to 02 customers but is likely to be a first introduction to the whole concept for many. Smart home products and services remain new and are at the early adopter stage and a way away from becoming mainstream. Many homeowners have never heard of the genre and as such this offering with its large reach, is likely to act as an introduction to the whole concept for many. As a result and realistically, it’s likely to win more uptake by virtue of a perceived uniqueness – even though the market is already swimming with viable alternatives.
However this could be the breakthrough market mover in the uk, growing awareness and stimulating the growth that has been predicted for 2016. This technology can save money, grow efficiencies and has green upsides – meaning is has appeal across the less moneyed fraternities right through to the environmentalists.
The race is now on to be the provider of your smart home hub, which in then powers the autonomous home of the future.
Beaides this deal, Samsung and Amazon are also lining up behind the concept in what promises to be a hugely competitive space in 2016