There’s No Place Like a Secure Smart Home
Your breath catches, you freeze, and your stomach feels like it found a new home on the floor. It is the feeling you get when you wonder if you left everything the way you wanted to at home. You question if you actually flipped the lights off, locked the doors, or turned off the stove.
We can make it a habit to triple-check all our appliances are in order before we leave the house, but some turn to smart home products to do the job. If we choose, smart home technology gives us a connected home that we can control from our smartphones even when we are miles away.
The possibilities of what our homes could someday be because of smart technology are perhaps as limitless as our imaginations. We wanted to capture a few of these ideas from consumers. The world has smart home tech, and we have an intelligent survey platform. We handed over the wheel of innovation for smart home tech to 101 consumers to find out what they think could be the next trend.
The smart homes of today
We cannot slap a smart label on just any old product, but the smart home concept has a solid reputation with consumers for what is already out there. Not only are 85% of respondents familiar with the concept of a smart home but 68% have positive feelings towards smart home devices. Just under half of respondents own a smart device and if they do it’s likely to be a smart TV, a smart speaker, or a smart security camera.
Security is a top priority and a concern
There is no time like the present and right now consumers that choose smart tech want a peace of mind. They want the kind of peace that will ease their racing hearts when they leave for vacation and do not know if they left the lights on or not. Smart tech consumers are fans of the fact that they can control things even when they are not home (87% support strength) so they do not have to come home to busted bulbs and a huge electric bill. A smart home is a secure home to some consumers (87% support strength). The fact that smart home products might make life safe (91% support strength) for smart home tech users proves security will be a perennial priority for consumers. Consumers expect that even a decade from now, smart home products will still handle home security (75% support strength).
However, when smart home products come knocking, some consumers are keeping their doors locked tight. From their point of view, inviting smart home products to make themselves at home will invite security issues too (65% support strength), such as being hacked (77% support strength). Consumers, particularly those over 35, are cautiously peeping through their shutters because they are concerned about what smart home tech could mean for their privacy (61% support strength).
Comfort without a thought
The not-so-wonderful wondering that we experience when we leave the house is often because we are busting out the door to make it to where we need to be on time. Smart home products tantalize consumers with the promise of making life a little bit less hectic. It may not be a complete “set it and forget it” solution but for some people smart home tech makes life easier (91% support strength) for the sheer convenience (85% support strength) and its ability to make life comfortable (83% support strength).
If consumers have their way, comfort could be the motto of the future. Respondents predict that smart home tech will be able to alter itself to the ideal comfort of those inside (51% support strength). We can sit back and relax while smart thermostats adjust the temperature, but what if it we did not even have to set the presets in the first place? If smart home technology is in fact smart, maybe someday it could think on its own and control the entire house environment without overt instruction (53% support strength). Consumers envision a future in which smart home products clean the house without command (33% support strength). Although if consumers must give their smart home a command in the future, it will probably be automated by voice (87% support strength).
The comforts of home can also go a bit too far. Frankly put, consumers opposed to smart home tech believe “we are just getting too lazy” (65% support strength). In their minds, people already rely too much on technology (61% support strength) and smart home products only perpetuate this problem. This train of thought points out technology can malfunction (79% support strength) which then begs the question of what happens to smart home tech when the power is interrupted (53% support strength).
Future opportunities for smart home tech
If consumers are concerned about the security of smart home devices today, they will be again tomorrow if their fears are not addressed. Besides improving security features, smart brands could clear up potential misconceptions that consumers may have. This year Lowe’s and Best Buy launched programs to meet with consumers in person to educate consumers about smart home technology. This tactic could also address the concerns of older consumers who do not want smart home tech to overwhelm them.
Cost could be a deal breaker regardless if security is addressed. Consumers that do not plan on purchasing smart home products say that smart home products are expensive (57% support strength) and will be even more of an expense when they break (47% support strength).
There is no detailed map of what is written in the stars for the future of smart home tech. What technology companies do have is an opportunity to create a bright future for themselves if they can ease consumer concerns and provide less expensive, durable, and secure smart home products. The 24% of consumers that plan on buying a smart device in the next six months primarily want their next smart device to go in their kitchens. If tech companies are looking for ideas, they could always take the consumer suggested smart freezer or smart device that feeds the dogs into consideration.