Survey Says Smart Home Gaining Traction

In a new survey commissioned by members of the Internet of Things Consortium (IoTC) and conducted by International Data Corporation (IDC), nearly two thirds of respondents said they are "moderately or extremely interested" in adopting new smart home solutions.

Of those consumers, 71% said that word-of-mouth referrals and recommendations made by retail store employees are most likely to influence their smart home purchasing.

The findings from the smart home research, which was sponsored by IoTC members Greenwave Systems, August GK digital Media, and NXP Semiconductors, offer mixed results for service providers. While growing interest from consumers is a positive, the survey of roughly 1,000 adult American consumers suggests that retailers -- not service providers -- play a significant role in purchasing decisions. Fifty-four percent of respondents said that word-of-mouth is their top source of information for smart home purchases, while 43% reported that in-store retail employees are second on the list.

For all the insight into where service providers fit into the IoT ecosystem, register to attend Light Reading's Carrier IoT: Making Money From Machines event, which takes place in Atlanta on February 10, 2015.

Among the other results of the survey:

  • Two thirds of respondents (66%) said they are concerned about privacy with smart home solutions.

  • Yet more than 60% suggested that security and energy efficiency are attractive smart home benefits.

  • A significant 44% said they are interested in smart devices for improving efficiency and delivering cost savings.

  • However, 51% reported worrying that smart home costs might outweigh benefits.

    Interestingly, more than a third of survey respondents said they would be open to commercial advertising on connected home devices if it would help bring down the cost of products and services.

    In another twist, "nearly a quarter" of consumers surveyed said they would only consider a smart home solution if it could be controlled with a smartphone. That could create an inroad for wireless carriers, though how much of one remains to be seen.

    Another 37% of respondents said they would like a smart home solution to include capabilities for transferring TV shows and other media across devices -- a somewhat tepid response given the pay-TV industry's marketing of multiscreen services. An equal percentage said they'd like to be able to use voice controls with their home appliances.

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    — Mari Silbey, special to Light Reading

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