SAN DIEGO — By 2018, there will be 50 million smart homes and buildings enabled by wireless sensor network (WSN) technology worldwide, according to technology research firm ON World.

“Wireless sensing and control technologies such as ZigBee, Z-Wave, and EnOcean have been instrumental in making smart homes and buildings a reality,” said Mareca Hatler, ON World’s research director. “Today, these WSN technologies are being joined by Bluetooth and Wi-Fi with large and dynamic developer communities and the outcome is exponential growth with new innovations especially for smart home devices and services.”

Annual shipments of WSN devices for smart homes and buildings are forecast to increase by more than 600 percent over the next five years. The top three markets are energy management, safety and security, and smart lighting.

For energy management, cloud services and Internet-connected smart energy devices have given consumers as well as small and medium sized building managers unprecedented control over energy consumption. Smart thermostats are one of the fastest growing smart energy markets, currently used by 15 percent of the broadband and smartphone/tablet users surveyed by ON World, up from 9 percent in 2010. Smart thermostats were also selected by these early technology adopters as the most likely to result in energy savings for their households.

ON World predicts that ZigBee and Wi-Fi will make up two-thirds of the global WSN chipset shipments for home and building energy management in 2018.

ON World’s “Smart Building Report Set” encompasses four different reports. A full synopsis of each is available at

Publication date: 3/10/2014

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