- Smart Home Technology
Smart Home IoT Products Surge Into the Mainstream
Whether called IoT (Internet of Things) or smart home technology, consumers are feeling comfortable with what is available to them for connecting and automating the many devices and processes in their dwellings. That is the upshot of a new study from The Stevenson Company’s TraQline service, which finds 56% of respondents are content with smart home IoT.
A somewhat surprising finding (though no doubt welcome news to IoT device makers) is the level of product adoption; of reporting households in the survey, 69% own a smart product. This surge in buying has occurred more recently, with 35% of the respondents saying they purchased a smart product within the past 6 months. Likely, many of those recent purchases occurred around the 2018 holiday season, when sales of smart speakers (such as Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Home) reached a new milestone, according to a new report.
The TraQline consumer survey offers some other interesting takeaways:
- Nearly four in 10 respondents (39%) say they plan to buy a smart thermostat within the next 6 months
- Of those surveyed, 44% say they intend to buy a smart home security camera
- Among smart products currently installed, 40% are used two or more times per day
- The top three factors influencing a respondent’s smart product purchase are price (68%), ease of use (50%), and security concerns (37%)
As this data confirms a move to market maturity, integration of devices and applications across brands and platforms can at last be witnessed (commonly referred to as the interoperability hurdle within Navigant Research reports). Too often, getting a smart speaker to communicate with lights or shades, or electrical plugs from different manufacturers, is a task better left to geeky engineers or professional installers—even though Amazon and Google have made strides to reduce the pain.
Leading the Interoperability Charge
One notable company flying under the radar in the US is Loxone. Now poised to help lead the interoperability charge, the Austria-based firm fortified its US market presence in 2018 with a move to a new facility outside Philadelphia. Loxone’s key product is a hub that aims to harmonize smart devices and applications. One of the features of the company’s system is its ability to be configured so it operates cloud-free, meaning without a connection to the internet; consumers with strong privacy concerns might find this very attractive.
From an energy perspective, Loxone’s view is more holistic than the standard integration of smart thermostats. For example, by connecting with window sensors that are also tied into a home’s HVAC system, the Loxone approach enables the automatic activation of a damper in a particular room when a window is opened.
The smart home market still has more hurdles to overcome (think cybersecurity threats), but at least for now we are seeing the maturation of products and services that have been missing in past years. And consumers are generally satisfied. If you have an interest in Navigant Research’s market perspective and forecast for this segment, check out its Residential IoT Market Overview report.