IFA sees IoT conquering consumer electronics

IFA sees IoT conquering consumer electronics

Market news |
By eeNews Europe

A study published at the opportunity of the current IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin illustrates the impact of IoT technologies on application worlds formerly oriented at proprietary industry standards. Increasingly, smart TV sets, washing machines and home appliances are adopting IoT approaches and get networked.

Spearheaded by devices that are per se digital and connected such as smartphones and tablets, and influenced by digital services such as music and video streaming, the world of consumer electronics is increasingly merging with the digital data environment originally generated in the world of PCs, laptop computers and smartphones.

“Connectivity turns conventional devices into intelligent ones, opening the prospect to numerous creative new use cases and applications,” explains Timm Lutter from Bitkom, the German digital industry association.

In the area of entertainment electronics, IoT technology helps users to establish very flexible media usage. Multi-room entertainment systems are an example how IoT standards enable cross-vendor compatibility and offer flexible ways to design and configure installations. Digital devices are in widespread use; two out of three Germans are users of a smartphone; 40 percent own a tablet computer. For other European countries, the figures are probably rather similar.

However, not only the entertainment electronics sector is affected by the IoT wave. Instead, the smart home increasingly turns to internet technology standards. For instance, a washing machine can send a message to the user’s smartphone once the work is done. Tablet computers control heating and air conditioning increasingly through standard protocols, the study states.

Bitkom expert Lutter sees great potential for wearables like smart watches, fitness trackers and smart glasses. According to the study authored by Bitkom and consulting company Deloitte, the market volume for smart watches in Germany amounts to 645.000 units for 2015; the experts estimate the number of fitness trackers sold here to 1.07 million units. Also for smart glasses the market watchers see high potential; 38 percent of the polled persons could imagine using smart glasses.

“Wearables are the logic next step from smartphones”, says Lutter. “They bring the IoT close to the body and increase its practical use in everyday life.”

In entertainment electronics, the trend clearly goes towards connected devices. By 2020, the Germans are expected to use some 100 million connected devices in their homes, the study says. In this calculation, smartphones and tablet computers are not even considered. Drivers for the development is the roll-out of a fast networking infrastructure – though Germany in comparison to other European countries in terms of fast internet only holds a midfield position. Globally the study authors expect that in 2015 about one billion connected devices.

The aspect of connectivity also impacts the marketing strategy of consumer electronics vendors. “IoT revolutionises classical business models”, believes Klaus Boehm, Media Director at Deloitte. Besides the products themselves, the services associated to them increasingly are in the fore, from entertainment content to navigation solutions for vehicles and to security services for the smart home.

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