As the home communication environment becomes more connected, consumers are increasingly interested in more interdependent, blended services -- those that can be delivered over any medium (i.e., delivery-medium agnostic) so consumers can receive content everywhere.
A good example of this is the AT&T Mobile U-verse application that allows users to download video content via certain mobile devices (the iPhone and BlackBerry Torch, for now) and watch it wherever they happen to be. As far as the user is concerned, the product is video content, and the device is no longer that important.
The ultimate end game for this evolution is a set of communication services that merge with the subscriber’s living space in a way that facilitates everyday functions, and consumers are not even aware they are using it, in many instances.
This connected home services environment is beginning to define consumer expectations and value perceptions. Largely in recognition of the power of this vision, Frost & Sullivan/Stratecast has launched a new Connected Home practice devoted to tracking developments in the evolution of the consumer market. Our research has already led to some rather startling findings. One, in particular, is the degree to which the connected home environment is dependent on wireless technology.
The connected home, as the following figure illustrates, represents the intersection of four formerly discrete domains: content, home networks, communications services and telemetry. Wireless plays a part in each of these areas.
In terms of communication services, the connection is obvious. Wireless is a primary component of integrated services offerings like the "quadruple play," which also includes voice, video and data offerings. Increasingly, consumers choose to access their world through mobile devices. In the future, such mobility will enable the connected home to extend to any place the consumer happens to be, allowing the consumer to interact with the home environment and access connected home services regardless of location.