Without dismissing the “cool factor” of smart home devices, the priorities for prospective inhabitants are comfort, ease of use and security.
Smart home technology is no longer the stuff of science fiction or cartoons. We are closer than ever to mainstream access to a “Jetsons” lifestyle (but hopefully far from the nightmare “The Simpsons” conjured up in the classic “Treehouse of Horror” episode in which the Simpsons’ smart-home silkily voiced by Pierce Brosnan, fell in love with Marge and tried to kill Homer, luring him with “unexplained bacon.”)
A recently released “2015 State of the Smart Home” study finds “a rise in excitement about the connected home,” led by Millennials (79 percent) and parents (76 percent), with half of the overall population expressing excitement about the technology, according to a survey of 1,600 North American consumers.
This is not surprising; the study was conducted by Icontrol Networks, which identifies itself as “the company behind the most widely-distributed home platform in the industry.” What may be surprising is the types of smart home automation in which consumers are most interested. Without dismissing the “cool factor” of smart home devices, the priorities for prospective inhabitants are comfort, ease of use and security.
According to the study, the top five most desired smart home devices are:
- Self-adjusting thermostat (72 percent)
- Doors that can be locked from a remote location (71 percent)
- A master remote control for all the household preferences (68 percent)
- Home monitoring cameras (65 percent)
- Automatic adjustable outdoor lighting (65 percent)
But entertainment is also emerging as a primary driver to smart home adoption, the study finds. Nearly half of consumers list “entertainment” as one of the top reasons to purchase a smart home system, compared with 29 percent last year. Five percent cited it as the No. 1 reason to purchase a smart home, up from a mere 1 percent in 2014.
Four-in-ten (43 percent) of American respondents to the study envision the entertainment room would be the areas of the house with which they would be most excited to connect in a smart home system, followed by:
- The kitchen (41 percent)
- The bedroom (39 percent)
- Yard or garden (19 percent)
- Garage (18 percent)
- Office space (13 percent)
Four-in-ten American consumers are most likely to adopt smart home technologies when making renovations or upgrades to their homes, while one-fourth indicated they would do when when moving into a new house.
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.