- 71% would consider purchasing a smart home product; smart thermostats garnered the most interest
- Most consumers expect newly built homes in the next five years to include smart home technology
- Consumer familiarity with smart home technology is still low; price, security and lack of standardization are key barriers
The “Internet of Things” is fast becoming a reality as more and more products and things contain sensors and/or microprocessors, and are connected to wireless networks. The near ubiquity of high speed internet access in homes, as well as smartphones, has set the stage for a new class of do-it-yourself smart home technology products, including smart thermostats, home security and monitoring systems, and smart lighting, to name just a few. The number of smart home product offerings has grown rapidly in the past few years, and will continue to do so as a diverse set of companies and industries vie for leadership in this space. But while consumers and business alike see greater technology in the home as inevitable, a new report from The Demand Institute finds that a truly “smart home” is still a ways off for the masses.
Smart Home Technology: Not Ready for Prime Time (Yet) is the latest publication fromThe Demand Institute, a non-advocacy, non-profit think tank jointly operated by The Conference Board and Nielsen. The report finds that more than 7 in 10 consumers would consider purchasing a smart home product, and that most consumers expect newly constructed homes in the next five years to include smart home technology. At the same time, consumers are in no rush to purchase smart home technology – just 36% of consumers say they are excited to incorporate smart home technology into their home.
“Smart home products need to demonstrate clear value and solve unmet consumer needs before most will make the investment,” said Louise Keely, president of The Demand Institute. “Some of these products do meet that bar, but many still feel these products are gimmicky, even though 64% concede that they really do not know much about smart home technology.”
The report found that smart thermostats, wireless speakers and home security and monitoring are currently the most popular and well-known smart home products, but that interest in other smart home products, like smart lighting, door locks and other categories is also strong.
“Consumers are starting small when it comes to smart home technology,” according to Jeremy Burbank who is a vice president at The Demand Institute and leads the American Communities Demand Shifts Program. “The typical smart home product user has just one or two products. Many of these products still cost several times what traditional models do, and a lack of industry standardization and interoperability means most consumers will add smart home technology slowly.”