Connected consumers around the globe have brands wondering what smart product technologies are next in line for mass adoption. Even though a number of emerging tech trends have enormous potential, the smart home in particular stands out as one that offers endless opportunities for brands. However, adoption of the technology so far has been slow due to a fragmented and confusing market that consumers don’t fully understand.
For the smart home to truly be successful, it must transform from a technology-led revolution to a consumer-led revolution, with partnerships, collaboration and education providing necessary clarity. But with opportunities in several different categories, where do key players begin?
Start with what consumers expect
In order to fulfill consumer expectations for the smart home, manufacturers must start by understanding what those expectations are and how they appeal to consumers. In our global study of 7,000 consumers in seven markets, we found that a majority of consumers (86%) were aware of the term “smart home”, but most have a relatively limited depth of knowledge on what it actually is.
Additionally, appeal for the smart home varies by market and demographic, with millennials and generation Xers in developed countries showing the most potential as early adopters. And while various smart home categories like security and control, energy and lighting, entertainment and connectivity, etc. have different levels of appeal, around half of consumers globally agree that smart home technology will have an impact on their life in the next few years.
Focus on the consumer benefits
When it comes to the smart home though, high awareness isn’t enough for widespread adoption. In fact, outside of cost, the main barrier for consumers globally, the lack of a cohesive vision or product has blurred the benefits of using the technology.
In addition, many consumers have concerns over their personal privacy and whether or not integration between devices will be simple and seamless. For smart home products and services to work together, collaboration and partnerships must happen within the market, and consumers will need to be educated on the full benefits of living in a smart home.
Finding smart home success
The path to success for smart home developers lies in understanding specific market needs, ensuring a seamless user experience through innovative partnerships and collaboration and communicating how the technology will enhance the lives of connected consumers. With the smart home already appealing to many consumers around the world, technology must no longer be the driving force behind smart home innovation… it’s now time for consumers to lead the revolution.