Smart Home Technology Still in Early Adopter Phase, Gartner Reports

One in 10 households in the U.S., U.K. and Australia have purchased smart home products and systems, according to an online survey by 10,000 households.

STAMFORD, Conn. – The adoption of connected home solutions remains squarely within the early adopter phase, with only 10% of households in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia having purchased smart home gear, according to a new report by market research firm Gartner.

“If they are to successfully widen the appeal of the connected home, providers will need to identify what will really motivates current users to inspire additional purchases,” says Amanda Sabia, principal research analyst at Gartner.

Conducted during the second half of 2016, the survey found that home security alarm systems, the more established of connected home solutions, have nearly double the adoption rates (18%) of newer connected home solutions such as home monitoring (11%), home automation or energy management (9%), and health and wellness management (11%). Overall adoption rates were 5% to 6% greater in the U.S., where they were first marketed, according to Gartner.

“Messaging needs to be focused on the real value proposition that the complete connected home ecosystem provides, encompassing devices, service and experience.”Jessica Ekholm, research director, Gartner

However, excluding home security alarm services for which a monthly fee is generally paid, solution providers may find monetizing connected services challenging as the survey revealed that less than half of households currently pay for subscription-based home monitoring and automation/energy management solutions.

In the U.S., 59% of households with a home monitoring solution indicate they do pay a monthly fee, thus proving they see value for these solutions. However, charging for subscriptions for home automation/energy management and health and wellness solutions is more of a challenge since more than half of current households are already using these services free of charge. The challenge is even greater in the U.K., where few home automation services are subscription based and 58% of households with home automation get their services free of charge.

Using a scale of 0 to 100, nearly 10,000 online respondents were asked about their feelings and preferences toward the value of devices, appliances and applications in the connected home ecosystem. Three-quarters of respondents indicated they are happy to manually set temperature and lighting controls versus only 1 in 4 who expressed an interest in having devices anticipate needs in the home. Furthermore, 58% of respondents showed a preference for separate, independent, stand-alone devices.

READ NEXT: Smart Home Systems Penetration to Reach 7% Globally by 2025, Says IHS Markit

Gartner found that respondents are starting to see the value of one app for integrating their connected home devices, appliances and services, as well as the importance of brand certification for their connected home devices and services. More than half of the respondents (55%) rated 51 or more toward the preference of one app integrating connected home devices and services, while 58% rated 51 or more toward the importance of hardware and services being certified by a specific brand.

“Messaging needs to be focused on the real value proposition that the complete connected home ecosystem provides, encompassing devices, service and experience,” says Jessica Ekholm, research director at Gartner. “The emphasis needs to be on how the connected home can helps solve daily tasks rather than just being a novelty collection of devices and apps.”

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