While the home automation market continues to grow, security is still the most important feature for consumers when they shop for a smart home solution.
Software specialist Icontrol Networks Inc. , which works with a number of major North American MSOs, has released a new report on the 2014 State of the Smart Home this week. Based on a survey of 932 US consumers aged 25 and older, and with an annual income of at least $40,000, iControl found that fire detection and carbon monoxide alarms ranked highest in importance among smart home services. Less critical, but still important, consumers cited gas leak alarms and valve shutoff as top security features.
Despite service providers' efforts to promote such other services as home video monitoring and location tracking of family members, consumers showed little interest in those features in the iControl study. Only 20% of respondents highlighted remote monitoring as one of their top three smart home priorities.
Among the other findings in the iControl report:
- 86% of respondents ranked property loss protection as important in a smart home system
- 78% of consumers ranked energy management as a top smart home feature
- 52% of pet owners listed pet monitoring among their top five priorities
- 51% said they would pay "up to $500 more for a fully-equipped smart home"
Interestingly, iControl found minimal variation in consumer opinions across age, gender, and income brackets. Instead, respondents' enthusiasm for technology was the most reliable factor in predicting smart home preferences.
— Mari Silbey, special to Light Reading