SAN DIEGO — Wireless mesh sensor networks are making the smart home promise a reality, according to a survey by global technology research firm ON World.

According to the ON World survey with over 1,000 U.S. adults, over a third believe they will have wireless sensors in their home within five years and 20 percent of the likely adopters expect to have 50 or more wireless sensors installed within the next five years. Respondents are most likely to buy smoke detector/CO alarms followed by wireless LED light bulbs, smart thermostats, and/or a smart appliance.

For all respondents, data reliability was selected as the most important feature of a smart home sensing and control system, followed by battery life, IP addressability, smartphone control, and app availability.

IP-addressable wireless sensing and control products such as Nest’s Learning Thermostat have driven adoption of smart home products, according to the report. Although Wi-Fi has been commonly used for mains-powered sensing devices, Thread is a new IP-based wireless mesh network protocol that will enable smart home devices to carry IPv6 communications with very low power consumption and support large-scale networks for the home with over 250 nodes. The Thread protocol is promoted by the Thread Group that was formed in July by founding members Nest Labs, Samsung, Big Ass Fans, ARM, Freescale Semiconductor, Silicon Labs, and Yale Security.

By 2018, ON World projects that wireless sensing and control devices will be used in 50 million smart homes and buildings worldwide and the majority of these will use IP-addressable sensors at this time.

Based on two surveys with over 2,000 online U.S. consumers, ON World’s Smart Home Networks Consumer Study explores consumers’ demand, needs, and wants for smart home products and services including energy management, lighting controls, security, safety and health monitoring. A report synopsis is available at

Publication date: 11/24/2014 

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