The residential market vertical spans multiple types of dwelling, categorized by varying footprints and ownership structures (Single family, multi-family, detached, condominium, apartments, etc…). Although the level of IoT penetration and complexity varies by the type of dwelling, the application space targets the same goals. Efficiency and convenience IoT functionality is implemented by combinations of sensing, monitoring, automation (control) and notification.

The application covers systems that include lighting, security, HVAC, power delivery, entertainment and is increasingly extending into appliances and fixtures of all types.

IoT Elements

Communication Technologies

The residential market includes various technologies including wired and wireless communication and control. Wireless technologies tend to dominate, and include standard and proprietary protocols including, but not limited to:


Dwelling Type
Single Family Multi-Family/Condo Apartment/High-Rise
Device Density Medium Medium High
Number of Devices Low Medium High
Quality of Service (QOS) Medium
Latency Application Dependent
Topology Star, Point-to-point (P2P), LAN
Power Line Power, Battery, Direct Current, Power over Ethernet
Range Medium Medium/Long Long

System Protocols

The residential market is generally dominated by consumer and standard communication protocols that are characterized by low cost and availability:

  • Ethernet (LAN, WiFi) 802.11 WLAN
  • Personal and Small area Networks
    • Bluetooth, BLE (IEEE 802.15.1)
      A wireless personal area network technology designed and marketed by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group intended to provide considerably reduced power consumption while maintaining a similar communication range as Bluetooth.
    • Mesh 802.15.4
      A technical standard which defines the operation of low-rate wireless personal area networks.
    • Zigbee
      An IEEE 802.15.4-based specification for a suite of high-level communication protocols used to create personal area networks with small, low-power digital radios.
    • Z-Wave
      A wireless communications protocol used primarily for home automation
  • Cellular and Broadband
    • Mobile broadband
      The marketing term for wireless Internet access through a portable modem, mobile phone, USB wireless modem, tablet or other mobile devices
    • 3G
      3G short for third generation, is the third generation of wireless mobile telecommunications technology
    • 4G
      4G short for fourth generation, is the fourth generation of wireless mobile telecommunications technology.
    • 5G
      5G short for fifth generation represents the proposed next generation of wireless mobile telecommunications technology
    • Long Term Evolution (LTE)
      A standard for high-speed wireless communication for mobile phones and data terminals, based on the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM)/Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution (EDGE) and Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) /High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) technologies.
  • Proprietary Wireless Networks

Another relevant Residential question relates to the User Interface/Home Automation Systems that control IoT devices. There are several vendor specific/proprietary stand-alone systems, but the major drivers currently are the integrated systems that manage multiple devices across protocols and systems. Some of the key systems are

  • Amazon Echo (Alexa)
    A smart speaker developed by Amazon which connects to the voice-controlled intelligent personal assistant service Alexa.
  • Apple HomeKit
    A framework for communicating with and controlling connected accessories in a user’s home
  • Google: Home
    A complex of three devices (a speaker, the Al personal assistant, and the smart controller), all in one.
  • NEST
    A manufacturer of smart home safety products (i.e. thermostats, smoke alarms)
  • Samsung SmartThings
    An open platform for smart homes


Appliance Controls: Individual appliances are increasingly connected and provide notification and control options

  • Kitchen appliances:
    • Refrigerator: Sensing of temperature and contents. Notification of shopping list items. Customized temperature profile by content/location
    • Oven/Stove/Grill: Sensing feedback for appliance and food status. Cook to exact desired temperature
  • Washer/Dryer: Intelligent wash and dry cycles and notification. Integrated into smart grid to optimize wash/dry times for lowest energy costs
  • Windows and Window Treatment: respond to changing lighting conditions and user preference
  • Landscape irrigation and controls
  • Automated cleaning appliances


  • Audio streaming
  • Video streaming
  • Gaming
  • Integrated space controls


  • Environmental monitoring and conditioning
  • Furnace controls
  • Air-conditioning controls
  • Thermostats

Lighting Control

  • Indoor lighting
  • Outdoor & landscape lighting
  • Luminaires
  • Stand-alone fixtures

Misc. Monitoring

  • Water detection
  • Fuel level monitoring

Power Delivery

  • Load controls
  • Outlet controls
  • Integration of renewable and storage
  • Automotive Charging
  • Utility and smart meters
  • Submeters

Security and Access Controls

  • Door locks
  • Security cameras
  • Security sensors
  • Garage door opener

Target Market

  • Single family homes
  • Multi family dwellings
  • Communities
  • Apartment and high rise buildings

Relevant Standards