Roku Eyeing Smart Home Device Market

Streaming media device pioneer Roku is reportedly considering branching out into connected homes using appliances and home entertainment products operated through the “Internet of Things” (IoT) concept. The North America market is projected to reach $180 billion by 2022. By 2025, there are projected to be 64 billion Internet-connected devices worldwide.

First reported by Protocol, Roku, which co-created the subscription streaming VOD business model with Netflix in 2008, recently hired Damir Skripic, as director of product management, home technologies. Skripic previously worked in a similar position for Amazon, and before that at Kasa Smart and Arlo Home Security Cameras, respectively.

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Roku’s operating system is currently installed in branded televisions, wireless speakers and soundbars. The company operates a whole home licensing audio program for third-party OEM manufacturers.

Skripic’s hire suggests he is tasked with formalizing the strategy and execution of products and features that connect Roku with home ecosystems. While the company has made no formal announcement, the job listing filled by Skripic said the successful candidate would “be responsible for vetting new partners and developing partnerships to connect Roku with home ecosystems more deeply.”

Roku ended the most-recent fiscal period with $107.7 million in hardware revenue, which includes streaming media set-top devices and HDMI pucks. That was up 22% from revenue of $88 million in the previous-year period. Roku made the bulk of its revenue ($466.5 million) from its branded platform, which includes almost 54 million active user accounts.

Parks: U.S. Households to Have 20 Connected Devices by 2025

In an era of over-the-top video and Internet of Things, new data from Parks Associates finds U.S. broadband households have an average of 12 connected devices, which will increase to 20 by 2025.

Dallas-based Parks said the uptick in connected devices will create opportunities for service providers and manufacturers to deploy new services to support the home network, including home entertainment and work functions.

“The number of connected devices in the home is increasing just as people are adding strain to the home network with more work-at-home and video streaming activities,” Brad Russell, research director, connected home, Parks Associates, said in a statement.

Russell said proliferation of Internet-connection within the home often deals with frustrating Wi-Fi experiences and widespread concern about vulnerability to data security and privacy threats.

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“Consumers recognize the need to secure and optimize their connectivity solutions [through Wi-Fi management and IoT security] and value a holistic solution that can deliver on safety and performance,” Russell said.