The power industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by increased efficiency, lower operational costs, and improved customer experience, with the growing importance of technologies such as UPB, X10, Z-Wave and ZigBee. In the last three years alone, there have been over 439,000 patents filed and granted in the power industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Internet of Things in Power: Home automation networks.

However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilising and reaching maturity.

Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.

90+ innovations will shape the power industry

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the power industry using innovation intensity models built on over 83,000 patents, there are 90+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, EV conductive charging, smart grid remote monitoring, and self-organising networks power optimisation are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Smart batteries, renewable energy integrated microgrids, and smart lighting system are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are home automation network power management, and prepaid electricity metering, which are now well established in the industry. 

Innovation S-curve for Internet of Things in the power industry

Home automation networks is a key innovation area in Internet of Things

Home Automation (HA) allows the user to control appliances, lighting, environment, and security in the house. HA provides safety, convenience, comfort and energy efficiency for the users. HA uses a computer or a mobile to control the basic home functions automatically and remotely.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies.  According to GlobalData, there are 30+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established power companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of home automation networks.

Key players in home automation networks – a disruptive innovation in the power industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent and broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in and reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.

Alphabet , Samsung Group and Johnson Controls International are some of the leading filers of patents linked to home automation networks.

Alphabet ’s division Google, with the launch of the wired Nest Doorbell, Google strengthened the Nest offerings, including smart-home products like smart speakers, smart displays, thermostats, smoke detectors, smart doorbells, cameras and smart locks.

Meanwhile, SAMSUNG has announced a partnership with ABB , expanding smart things support for residential, commercial buildings, and Johnson Controls ’ innovative room automation solution, based on KNX communication technology, international standard protocol for Home & Building Automation, aims to deliver on the promise of healthier places and planet.

Other key patent filers in the home automation network include Broadcom , Signify , Siemens , Resideo Technologies , LG and ABB .

To further understand how Internet of Things is disrupting the power industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Internet of Things in Power (2021).

GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.