Why Do Consumers Want Connected Homes?
- Smart Home
Guest post by Jeana Chaffin, Director, AT&T Developer Program
In my previous blog, I sought to understand why consumers want a connected car. For this blog, I’m taking a similar look at research into why consumers want a connected, smart home.
The first survey I found was Lowe’s 2014 Smart Home Survey, which asked Americans about their attitudes and experiences with home automation. Here is the breakdown of responses when survey respondents were asked: Which of the following are beneﬁcial reasons for you to own smart home products?
- 50% = Home would be more secure
- 46% = Monitor activity around home while away
- 40% = Cut costs and save money on energy bill
- 35% = Home would be more convenient overall
- 29% = Better protected from ﬂoods, ﬁre, etc.
- 13% = Feel more tech savvy
When asked to select the things they wished they could control from a smartphone or tablet, the Lowe’s 2014 Smart Home Survey respondents said:
- 44% = Control temperature by turning on/up the heater or air conditioner
- 39% = Turn on the lights
- 27% = Start the coﬀee pot
- 17% = Let the dog out
- 16% = Turn on the shower
- 12% = Turn on the kids’ alarm clocks to wake them up
And when asked what they wished was true when they arrived home, these survey respondents said:
- 49% = Home would be the perfect temperature
- 37% = Lights would turn on
- 27% = Doors would unlock upon arrival
- 20% = Dinner would start cooking (e.g., Crockpot would turn on, oven pre-heated)
- 15% = Pet would have been let out/in
Next, I found the 2014 State of the Smart Home Report from iControl Networks. In this survey, 90% of respondents said “personal and family security” was one of the most important reasons for using a smart home system. In fact, 67% of the respondents ranked it as the number one reason overall.
According to the survey, after personal and family security, “respondents more often mentioned property loss protection as an important feature of the smart home over any other feature, including indoor convenience, energy/resource management, and outdoor convenience.” In this case, 86% of the respondents ranked property loss protection (including Gas leak alarm, valve shutoff, and recording of events for law enforcement and/or insurance purposes) as one of the top reasons for using a smart home system.
When asked which features are most important when it comes to energy management, 80% of the iControl Networks’ survey respondents said “HVAC heating and cooling management is one of the most important features for reducing utility bills and becoming more environmentally-friendly.” More than half of the respondents chose it as number one in terms of importance.
Finally, there’s this interesting finding: pet owners who responded to the iControl Networks survey said that the ability to monitor their pets is an important feature of the smart home, outranking both outdoor convenience and entertainment.
What I interpret from both of these surveys is that when considering what they want in a smart home, consumers consider home security, energy cost management, and convenience to be the most important factors.
Here are a few other interesting results that I found in my research:
- According to the Better Homes and Gardens 2015 You and Your Home Survey, “More than half of U.S. women, including 64% of Millennials, believe that smart technology makes their home safer and enjoyable. Respondents report that indoor and outdoor lighting, door locks and security cameras are the areas in which they are most likely to adopt new technology in the future.”
- Earlier this year, Coldwell Banker Real Estate conducted a survey of their sales associates to find out which smart features homebuyers are looking for when purchasing a home, and how those features impact a home’s sale. The survey’s findings suggest that smart appliances and home technology are becoming more important to potential home buyers.
- 64% of sales associates surveyed agreed that buyers today are more interested in homes with smart home features and technology than two to five years ago
- 62% see more buyers interested in controlling their home technology through their smartphone or tablet now than two to five years ago
- 33% indicated that homes with smart home features sell faster than homes without them
- Homebuyers are most interested in smart home technology for the following categories:
- Security (65% of sales associates agree)
- Temperature control (57%)
- Safety (48%)
- Lighting (46%)
- Entertainment (42%)
- Appliances (23%)
What are your take-aways from this research? Do you see potential areas for app developers to innovate and to make better user experiences with smart homes?
- (2014). Smart Home Survey. Retrieved from: https://app.box.com/s/vnl28tu9nauajw2pkq6r/1/2365669887/20291342545/1
- iControl Networks. (2014). 2014 State of the Smart Home. Retrieved from: http://www.icontrol.com/insights/2014-state-smart-home/
- Better Homes and Gardens. (2015). You and Your Home Survey. Retrieved from: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/exclusive-survey-from-better-homes-and-gardens-reveals-next-gen-homeowners-want-living-spaces-that-combine-smart-homes-and-smart-design-300023619.html
- Coldwell Banker Real Estate. (2015). Coldwell Banker Real Estate Sales Associate Survey. Retrieved from: https://www.coldwellbanker.com/press-release/smarthomes