Being able to control home operations from a mobile device is appealing to a lot of people, and a new study from Parks Associates took a clear look at that market. It found that almost one in three broadband households—30 percent—are interested in energy management, which should spark plenty of development.
Parks Associates will be taking its study to the Peak Load Management Alliance (PLMA) Fall Conference, and while there, will show off the rest of its research in the field of both smart home and the Internet of Things (IoT) concepts. But until then, Parks Associates President Stuart Sikes offered some advance information, noting that nearly every household in the United States had taken “...some energy-saving steps in the past 12 months.” Sikes listed these steps, noting changes to CFL and LED bulbs, adjustments to thermostats, and the introduction of new, energy-efficient appliances.
While American households have already made moves to save energy, consumers are willing to do more. The Parks Associates study found that 51 percent would like to see alerts on mobile devices if fire or smoke is detected in the home, and 45 percent would like a similar alert for carbon monoxide. Thirty-six percent wanted the ability to remotely turn off lights in the house, or even outside it.
Saving energy is a big topic these days, and the IoT applications we're seeing lately are a great way to drive that push toward savings. Most of us are taking on some of these measures—I'm switching burned-out bulbs to LED myself—for the power savings, the help to the environment, and of course the lower electric bills. It's hard to pass up the bottom-line benefits households and businesses alike can experience with a little lower power bill.
Granted, most of the use cases in the Parks Associates study don't directly connect to power savings—detecting hazardous conditions like smoke, fire and carbon monoxide isn't really an energy management function—but it does illustrate how important people are finding IoT. People are beginning to enjoy the thought of home management functions available from mobile devices, and that's reflected in the growing numbers of devices that can be controlled via app and those apps that control such devices. That desire has been around for some time, but the technology is progressing to make it more within reach.