The advent of Wi-Fi 6 makes this popular wireless technology even more important and applicable in the smart home. As a key component of the Matter standard, Wi-Fi 6 not only provides interoperability, it also becomes the cornerstone of the smart home. The Matter standard builds on Thread for low-power wireless connectivity, and Wi-Fi 6 is ideal when greater throughput and higher power are needed. In addition to the Ethernet cabling standard and Bluetooth Low Energy for debugging, the Matter standard also enables Wi-Fi to support more smart home devices by supporting Internet Protocol (IP). Through IP interoperability, every smart home product can be easily connected to the cloud, giving smart home applications powerful and flexible capabilities.
For smart home development, we need to avoid a one-size-fits-all approach. Consumers are already very familiar with Wi-Fi communication in the home, and it plays an important role in home entertainment networks. From watching movies on tablets to working from home with video conferencing, the seamless nature of Wi-Fi has extended to appliances such as TVS, washing machines and refrigerators. There is no doubt that Wi-Fi is one of the most common wireless connectivity technologies in the world.
All wireless technologies, however, present trade-offs. Since Wi-Fi is primarily designed for high throughput, its energy consumption is generally higher. While Wi-Fi access points can be plugged into the main power supply and devices such as laptops have large-capacity batteries for applications such as streaming media content, Wi-Fi's high power consumption has limited its use in some areas, such as battery-powered light switches. For these and similar applications, wireless connectivity technologies such as Bluetooth Low Energy, Thread or Zigbee are better suited because they only need to send a small amount of data and can last for months on a small battery.
However, Wi-Fi 6 introduces power-saving technology that can provide longer battery life while sacrificing a portion of throughput, thus improving usage. By using Multiple Access modulation (OFDMA), Wi-Fi 6 divides each 20 MHz channel into hundreds of subchannels, enabling simultaneous support for more home devices. This improvement makes Wi-Fi ideal for many smart home devices, such as security cameras, smart thermostats, and smart speakers. These new Wi-Fi technologies will drive a boom in the smart home sector. According to Vantage Market Research, the smart home market will grow more than 5.5 times in value by 2028, reaching more than $420 billion in annual sales, with shipments of Wi-Fi-based smart home devices growing at a compound annual growth rate of 21%.