Market research company GfK recently announced the results of its latest study of consumer expectations regarding smart home products and services. It found that half of U.S. consumers believe smart home tech will affect their lives in the coming years more than wearables and cloud computing.
The study surveyed more than 1,000 consumers in seven countries – Brazil, China, Germany, Japan, South Korea, the U.K., and the U.S. – and asked them to choose from a list of influential technologies, including augmented reality, 3D printing, wearables, cloud computing, the Internet of Things, mobile payments, and smart home products, and had them select which ones they though would be most important to their lives. The most salient finding for U.S. consumers was that 51 percent chose smart home products above the 50 percent that selected mobile payments.
Rob Barrish, the senior vice president for technology in North America at GfK, commented that the pervasive nature of smart home products has allowed it to become one of the biggest tech revolutions in decades.
“As the Internet of Things technology is embedded in an ever-increasing array of household product categories, smart home has the potential to be one of the biggest tech adoption revolutions we’ve seen in decades,” Barrish said. “While ‘security’ stands out as one category with broad appeal, our research shows that consumers also have strong interest in a diversity of smart home product categories, from basics such as ‘energy and lighting’ to delighters such as ‘entertainment.’”
He further commented that price will stand as the primary barrier that keeps consumers from adopting the goods they desire. Although marketers will continue to try to convince customers that smart home products can positively impact their lives, manufacturers will have to keep prices low to make the products appealing. Over time, the proliferation of such goods and competition in the market should also cause prices to fall.
The research also highlighted the top five smart home products that respondents said they would prefer to use. In order from the top, they include “energy or lighting,” “security and control,” “entertainment and connectivity,” “health,” and “smart appliances.” Those figures from U.S. consumers are similar to what the study found for respondents across the globe.
Although security is part of the function of smart devices, the issue of product and information security comes as the second-most salient concern for would-be buyers. For U.S. respondents, 26 percent said they were concerned about how smart products could either keep their data private or how they could unwantedly intrude on their lives. Still, a separate 24 percent said they had concerns about either price or security keeping them from purchasing such goods.