Ford’s Next Big Thing Isn’t a Car

Ford’s partnership with ADT is just one indicator of the massive growth potential of the connected home.

Rex Moore
Rex Moore
Jul 20, 2014 at 11:00AM
Technology and Telecom

I've traveled to some exotic places to better understand the huge Internet of Things (IoT) trend, including the Arctic Circle in Finland. But some of the greatest growth in IoT is happening right at home.

Inside the home, that is.

And companies you wouldn't imagine – like Ford (NYSE:F) -- are getting involved.

To better grasp the huge stakes in home automation and control, consider the price Google paid for Nest -- $3.2 billion. Other tech giants are also buying up similar companies, all in an attempt to win the lion's share of revenues once virtually every device in our homes is connected to the Internet.

Even Ford is getting a wheel into the connected home through its partnership with ADT (UNKNOWN:ADT.DL). Yes, drivers, now you can control your lights and locks at home through your Ford SYNC in-car connectivity system and the ADT Pulse smartphone app.

It makes sense
As Ford notes in its partnership announcement, "...everything in our lives is becoming increasingly interconnected." Considering your car is becoming more akin to a rolling living room, it makes sense that it must eventually be just as connected as your home – and connected to your home.

In this video from the 2014 International CES in Las Vegas I chat with Tom Kerber about Ford, ADT, and the connected home. As the director of research in the areas of home controls, energy management, and home networks for Parks Associates, Kerber says there is dramatic growth potential in this area, especially considering that only a small percentage of houses currently are making use of the technology.