Smart grid initiatives have energized the so-called "Internet of Things" and soon wireless sensor network (WSN) technology will be deployed in millions of neighborhoods and homes worldwide, according to ON World, a market research firm. "The home area network (HAN) is becoming the developer opportunity of the coming decade," says Mareca Hatler, ON World's research director. "Although smart metering is the largest smart grid market today, the HAN promises to be the fastest growing with new products and services appearing daily."

ON World's survey with 600 consumers in five continents found that 59 percent are interested in adopting new technologies that will help them better manage their energy and 81 percent are willing to pay for energy management equipment if they could save up to 30 percent on their energy bill. WSN technologies such as ZigBee and its smart energy profile have drawn developers from the energy, security, teleco, consumer products and home networking industries. Supported by market leaders such as Belkin, Cisco, D-Link and GE, ZigBee has become the preferred HAN technology by many smart home platform providers.