Connected smart home solutions are still in the early adopter phase. That’s outcome of the Gartner Connected Smart Home Technology Survey, which found that connected home solutions, such as energy management and security systems, can only be found in ten percent of the 10,000 households survey in the US, UK and Australia.
At 18 per cent, home security alarm systems topped the list as the most commonly owned smart home technology. Home monitoring came in at second (11 per cent), followed by home automation or energy management (9 per cent), and health and wellness management (11 per cent).
Out of the three regions, the US was found to be the most connected. Overall adoption rates for smart home technologies were typically five to six per cent higher in the U.S., with the higher number attributed to the region being first exposed to the smart home concept.
Communicating the benefits
As for what is holding back adoption of smart home technology, many consumers are not convinced about the real value of a connected home ecosystem. Customers are also somewhat unsure of the immediate benefits of smart home devices, service and experience.
Another challenge facing smart home technology is the growing number of apps needed to manage various connected items in a household. It is a similar issue that households have long faced with remote controls used to control similar devices and functions.
For that reason, smart home adopters are increasingly asking for one app to integrate and manage their connected home devices. More than half of respondents (55 per cent) would like to see their various device and service apps consolidated into a single, easy-to-use app.
When it comes to how smart home technology can move out of the early adopter stage, Gartner recommends the industry better communicates the benefits to consumers. Rather than just being perceived as a novelty collection of devices and apps, the emphasis should be on how the connected home can helps solve daily household challenges.
The recent survey results show, at least for the time being, that the proliferation of smart homes is several years away. In 2014, Gartner was predicting that a very wide range of domestic equipment would quickly gain some level of sensing and intelligence, as well as the ability to communicate wirelessly, to become “smart”.
At the time, Gartner was predicting that a typical family home could contain over 500 smart devices by 2022. The cost of enabling a device to join the Internet of Things (IoT) was also expected to drop as low as US$1.
Although the smart home is not yet mainstream, there is already a growing number of households that are digitising their functions. As vendors and providers start to clearly communicate the benefits, and improve the functionality of the systems themselves, more homes will join the smart home revolution.
We’ve already assisted energy companies such as Origin, Aurora Energy, Meridia Energy, and Contact Energy with their digital transformations and improving their consumer experience. Our experience also extends to utilities such as Sydney Water and Yarra Valley Water. If you are looking for guidance with technology platforms and smart devices, contact us today to learn how we can ensure the best quality experience for you and your audience.