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Consumers keen on living in the Jetsons universe

Consumers clearly see the benefits offered by home automation but they also have very specific requirements that need to be met before they’d consider investing, a new survey has shown.

The survey, which asked US, UK and German consumers their attitudes towards the smart home, showed that almost half (46 per cent) of consumers think smart home devices will become mainstream within five years and revealed a strong preference for smart home solutions that offer tangible benefits.

The new research from the Bluetooth Special Interest Group released today shows that most appealing smart home gadgets are those that allow consumers to control their environment, such as smart heating/thermostats, smart lighting and smart security/monitoring devices.

But consumers know exactly what their devices should be like: 54 per cent said a device should be straightforward to use, and 41 per cent believe it should be easy to set up.

Price and security also figured prominently, with 42 per cent of consumers feel that both keeping their data secure and offering products at competitive price points will make smart home devices much more desirable.

Currently, 67 per cent of consumers are concerned that some smart home devices would make their data vulnerable.

“This study confirms consumers are looking for smart home products that ‘just work’,” said Mark Powell, executive director of the Bluetooth SIG. “It’s evident demand for smart home devices is ramping up and consumers are keen to live in the scenarios conjured up by the Jetsons over 60 years ago. Smart home manufacturers need to deliver products that are simple, cost-effective and secure for this segment to become mainstream.”

Here are the survey’s key stats at a glance

  • 6 per cent think smart home devices are already mainstream i.e. most people own a smart home device or consider it normal to do so
  • 46 per cent think smart home devices will be mainstream within the next five years
  • 66 per cent think smart home devices will be mainstream within the next 10 years

The top five most important factors when deciding which smart home device to purchase are:

    • It should be simple to use – 54 per cent
    • It should be competitively priced – 42 per cent
    • It should keep data secure – 42 per cent
    • It should be easy to set up – 41 per cent
    • It should connect easily and quickly with a smartphone, tablet or PC – 28 per cent
    • 73 per cent would be frustrated if it took too long to set up a smart home device
    • 67 per cent are concerned some smart home devices wouldn’t keep their data secure

The top three types of devices consumers find most appealing are:

  • Smart home heating/thermostat – 45 per cent
  • Smart lighting/light bulbs – 34 per cent
  • Smart security and monitoring devices – 33 per cent
  • 66 per cent would like to be able to programme their home system to perform automatic actions, such as lights turning off when exiting a room or heating turning on when returning home from work
  • 73 per cent would like to receive smartphone notifications from their home security system if it detects a threat