Retailers Ramp Up for the IoT Gateway

Can you picture walking into your kitchen after work and saying, "Refrigerator: Give me a recipe I can make with my current inventory of food"? What about, "Oven: Preheat to 350 degrees"? These are functions that modern technology, including inexpensive Iot gateways, makes possible, and that retailers hope to market soon.

But before we get ahead of ourselves, what does this new "smart" world offer the consumer that is making large retailers like Home Depot and Staples sit up and take notice? The Internet of Things— specifically connected home appliances—is the primary market drivers.

In fact, according to a CES 2014 Survey conducted by Wakefield Research, 93 percent of respondents agree that controlling the home will have a positive impact on the quality of their daily lives. And Cisco reports that the number of connected objects is expected to reach 50 billion by 2020; this represents an increase from 8.7 billion in 2012.

So, how do retailers (or product movers) think they'll get a leg up on large and innovative players such as Apple, Intel and Google? Well they don't; rather, they hope for a piece of this mammoth market that figures to have enough room for tech companies, retailers and giant consumer product manufacturers such as GE and Philips. All are working toward the day when consumers view connected home appliances as a 'must-have' rather than a luxury.

And when that day arrives, retailers want to be there to supply those connected devices. They foresee a demand for products that are part of an interconnected system from one brand, with consumers looking at boxes to insure the device is part of their broader system. This could be Apple's HomeKit, but who's to say it won't be a smart home hub from Best Buy—maybe even one that works with HomeKit?

Retailers are envisioning a future where buyers don't purchase a TV without consideration of their home's lighting system and other devices. In an IoT world, one purchase decision will affect another as products work together to help homeowners simplify, organize and create better lives