The International CES has proven again this year that there’s a huge interest in smart home technology, with tech companies and device makers showing their latest connected devices.
There is a huge opportunity for smart homes, but consumers are perhaps not yet fully convinced about the benefits. Reflecting this, the Consumer Technology Association has forecast sales of wearables in 2016 will be four times that of smart home devices, at 38 million and 9 million units respectively.
At this year’s CES, companies have announced dozens of smart home products such as:
Samsung’s Family Hub Refrigerator is equipped with three cameras inside to help you track your inventory on your smartphone via an app.
Smart heating system Tado will turn on your heating automatically when you are heading home, based on your phone’s location, and will also turn on the lights, disable the alarm or call the elevator.
Meanwhile, LG announced its Hom-Bot Turbo+ hoover-bot, which sends live video of the cleaner’s view to a smartphone, allowing the user to tap on areas on the floor for it to concentrate on.
Smart home survey
Strategy analytics recently conducted a major smart home survey, looking at the most popular technologies and the relevant consumer segments. It’s a fascinating insight into the possibilities for smart homes in the UK.
Strategy Analytics found that:
- The number of UK households with some form of smart home system has increased 30% on last year to 4.0 million in 2015 – 14% of homes in the UK
- The average smart home will spend £256 on the technology, equating to a market size of £940 million. In comparison, US homes average £541
Nearly 30% of UK households are viable smart home targets – but who are they?
The analysis identified six distinct consumer segments – three of which are realistic for purchasing smart home systems and services. In order of likelihood they are:
- Impressers (11%) – skew towards slightly younger females in higher income, connected device households. Big skew in interest for motion sensing camera tech
- Millennial Males (9%) – under 35, more likely not to have children and live in flats. Again spike in interest for motion sensing camera tech
- Green Nesters (8% of the population) – married families owning multiple smartphones and tablets. Much greater interest in smart home tech around occupancy-sensing systems for lights and heating
“After the initial hype, there seems to be a degree of negativity about the genuine opportunity for smart home technology, particularly around how many households are likely to use it. However, take-up rates are increasing very well and will continue if smart home manufacturers and marketers focus on the most viable potential customers. Of course, it’s not for everyone but nearly 30% of the population are ripe for it, which is a pretty good start” – Bill Ablondi, Strategy Analytics’ Director, Smart Home Strategies.
“British Gas Connected Homes is poised to reach 300,000 customers for its Hive service which is focused on energy management. We believe that home monitoring is a bigger draw if priced right. Service providers could spur the market with free basic monitoring and notification services bundled with their other services and then offer several levels of premium capabilities for additional fees. Insurance firms could do the same. Security service providers are well-positioned to offer self-monitoring and automation capabilities on top of their current services” – Bill Ablondi, Strategy Analytics’ Director, Smart Home Strategies.
Most popular smart home technologies
UK consumers are most willing to pay for notifications about potential hazards and emergencies in their home (10% to 11%) followed by a system that can automatically shut off the water in case of a leak and remote video monitoring (both 9%).
What the near future holds
“Big brands such as Amazon, Apple, Google and Samsung are building awareness for smart home technologies with their initiatives. Technology advancements in enhanced visual and voice recognition coupled with cognitive computing on a chip will introduce new value propositions stimulating consumer demand. Google’s Nest will leap beyond the thermostat, smoke detector and camera to door bells and locks and virtually every control point in the home. Data analytics for predicting failure in heating systems and major appliances will become an extension of the maintenance contracts retailers, energy providers and manufacturers offer. We are on the cusp of the next BIG thing in consumer adoption of digital technology.” – Bill Ablondi, Strategy Analytics’ Director, Smart Home Strategies.
Mobile Industry Review would like to thank Strategy Analytics for the information provided in this article.