CES 2016 (the Consumer Electronics Show) concluded last weekend, showcasing new products to make our homes “smarter.” Phys.org describes “spectacular growth from products like a smart mirror from Haier that delivers news and weather and connects to other appliances; connected spoons; and diet scales” to help mainstream “smart homes.”
Not long ago, we thought we were technologically savvy by having a programmable thermostat, an automated sprinkler system, and an electric garage door opener. Well, back in the 1950s, an automatic washing machine was the great time-saving device. Welcome to the Twenty-teens. A smart home is a connected home.
By the way, one product is not enough to make home “smart.” To achieve this status, you need at least three different categories of smart products within a house. According to a year-end poll, “Smart Home Marketplace Survey,” the most recognized categories are smart security (locks, sensors, and alarm systems), temperature (thermostats and fans), lighting (bulbs and lighting systems), and safety (fire/CO2 detectors and nightlights).
What’s Being Used Now
451 Research identifies the top three products owned by current users of smart home tech as being a smart thermostat (41%), smart indoor cameras (28%) and door/window motion sensors (28%). However, this paper didn’t include entertainment as a category.
The Smart Home Marketplace Survey finds entertainment to be the gateway tech into the smart home habit. (Yes, 70% of people with smart home technology said buying their first smart home product made them more likely to buy another one.) Highest on the list of smart entertainment are TVs and speaker systems. Icontrol also noted a 55% surge in entertainment as a driver to smart home adoption between 1014 and 1015.
Differences by Region (USA)
There are some interesting regional differences in the US according to Icontrol’s report in early 2015:
- Homeowners in the Northeast had the highest likelihood among regions to purchase a connected home monitoring camera.
- Southern homeowners were most interested in a connected thermostat and also wanted to communicate with their home appliances.
- Those in the West had the highest likelihood to be interested in self-watering plants and were most excited about connecting their entertainment room to the house.
- Midwestern homeowners were least likely among the regions to purchase a connected device, but if they did, they were most excited about connecting their kitchen.
The flip side of being connected is the fear that personal information may get stolen, according to Icontrol. Other identified concerns include the fear that data will be collected and sold and fear that their smart home tech will have too many bugs.
Selling a Home
New homes and the luxury market have led the way in smart home technology.
As we see more mainstreaming of smart home technology, we should expect to see connected devices being considered an “expected” feature in homes in the way that multi-paned windows have replaced with a single pane.
According to the Smart Home Marketplace Survey, more than half the homeowners who were planning to sell their home would purchase or install smart home products, if they knew that doing so would make it sell faster. Pre-installed home tech that most attract home buyers are smart security (58%) and temperature (56%), while connected entertainment systems seem to be least appealing (29%).
What smart home tech do you already have? Do you plan to purchase new smart home tech this year?