Tyler Laundon: There has been a lot of talk lately about the connected home – electronic devices like smoke alarms and stereos and appliances that all talk to one another and can be controlled by a mobile device. Just last week I received another invitation to try AT&T’s (NYSE:T) Digital Life, which includes home monitoring features for doors, water supply, thermostats and more.
This is a very real trend that consumers and homeowners want elements of, mainly with devices around home security, energy efficiency and home entertainment.
But there is also a large connected opportunity that resides outside of the home. Think about the one place you spend the majority of time away from home where you want information and entertainment.
If you said the car, you nailed it.
Introducing the Car of the Future
There are over 254 million registered vehicles in the U.S., versus just 132.5 million housing units. That’s a significantly large market.
The number of new cars sold each year is far above the number of new homes built. In 2013, 15.6 million new cars were sold, as compared to around 1 million homes. And of course, the number of cars sold worldwide is much higher – 2013 was a record year as 83 million cars were sold worldwide.
It’s not just about a car stereo system anymore – the car of the future will boast back-up cameras, accident prevention, emergency response and finding a restaurant to meet your tastes while on the road.
The list of car companies introducing new connectivity features is massive; Ford, Volvo, Ferrari, Maserati, Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, Lamborghini, Toyota, BMW, Hyundai…pretty much every manufacturer out there. They all want a system that will help differentiate their vehicles to consumers.
As new software is integrated into cars the usual suspects are able to offer applications which exponentially expand a car owners’ access to information. Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Automotive Link and Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) CarPlay are just two examples.