The Internet of Things (IoT), Smart Homes, or Connected Homes, are all the same thing that mean filling your home with smart devices that work via the internet and that use your smartphone as a sort of controller. They are sleek, fast, responsive, engaging, can make life easier, offer convenience and a certain wow factor, and are not selling past the early adopters according to a recent survey by Gartner. After an online survey of 10,000 people from the US, UK, and Australia, Gartner discovered that only about 10 percent of households are reaping the advantages of a connected house. Gartner uncovered that only those people that are in a particular category called “early adopters” are buying and using the products – after that, interest wanes.
It is no surprise that more developed countries have a faster adoption rate, but they are nowhere near, what the manufacturers would like to see. Alarm systems are the number one connected home solution at 18 percent, and that makes sense since many users already have a home security system and is an area where the cost can be justified. Home monitoring is up there as well with 11 percent. With both parents working, it pays for itself as a child monitor or as a means to keep an eye on your house while you are at work. Home automation – door locks, garage door, lights, etc. – or energy management comes in at 8 percent. In the US, about 59 percent pay a monthly fee for some form of a monitoring system.
When asked about their feelings toward the value of these devices, 75 percent said they were okay with manually adjusting controls around their home, including lights, sound, and the temperature. To go further, 58 percent said they prefer separate, unconnected devices. While many are starting to see the value of some home solutions, they specified that name recognition is a major factor. Manufacturers and developers have to realize that these devices, while convenient, are expensive and many families are unable to spend the money for them no matter how helpful.
There are actual financial benefits to using some connected home solutions – Nest just received the coveted Energy Star rating from the EPA for its home thermostat control after studies showed it could save a household between 10 - 12 percent in their heating and cooling bills. Insurance companies are more than willing to give you a break on your premiums if you have a home security system installed. Having a doorbell with a camera can often prevent an unwanted visitor or home invader. These benefits can often outweigh the cost of the system or an assorted monthly maintenance fee.