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Hi-tech digital hubs 'the future for UK homes'
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Inbuilt communications networks could transform UK homes into digital hubs, a leading trade body has claimed.
Intellect, which represents the UK technology sector, believes high-speed broadband can help deliver everything from advanced entertainment services to health care by the end of the decade.
The body's new report, entitled 'Connected Homes - a Reality', claims the UK could have a £3 billion per year connected home market by 2015.
"Homeowners will be able to control energy use, access public services including education and healthcare as well as receive new media and entertainment services, all linked into a variety of devices including internet connected TVs, tablets and smart phones," Intellect stated.
However, the organisation said this lifestyle revolution can only be realised if industries and government work together to agree technical and security standards.
Retailers and installers will also require training and certification, to actively promote customer confidence in the technology, it said.
But in order for hi-tech home hubs to become a reality, all households will require access to 6Mbps broadband speeds.
And at present, many UK homes lack access to even 2Mbps, particularly in rural parts of the country.
Colin Batten, head of internet and media at Intellect, commented that the connected home has been talked about for some time.
"But it is now potentially the next big technology revolution," he stated.
"Most homes already have islands of technology but the truly connected home will be more than just an aggregation of different services and devices."
Mr Batten explained that everything will be linked through one network, giving people access to exciting new services.
"The devices and services which make up the connected home are either already available or being developed, so will ultimately arrive in everyone’s home," he said.
"The challenge is to ensure people can get the most out of them by providing a joined up, robust network and not a piecemeal service, which would leave UK householders in the digital slow-lane."
Posted by Jon Aspinell
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