Smart Home Technology Has Bigger Impact than Wearables

Smart Home Technology Has Bigger Impact than Wearables

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More people in the world believe that Smart Home Technologies will have a bigger impact on their lives than wearable devices.

New GfK research shows that half of people internationally believe smart home technology will make an impact on their lives in the next few years, compared to just a third who say the same for wearables.

The study, which covered seven countries, asked consumers to choose which of 11 leading-edge technologies – from 3D printing to augmented/virtual reality to Internet of Things – would have an impact on their lives in the next few years. (Respondents could choose as many technologies as they wished.)

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The results indicate a strong international interest in smart home technology, with just over half (51 percent) of consumers backing it. This is well ahead of the third (33 percent) of people who believe wearables will impact their lives, and on a level with mobile payments (54 percent).

Top five smart home applications

Internationally, the areas of smart home technology applications that have greatest appeal for consumers are ‘security and control’ and ‘energy or lighting’ (55 percent and 53 percent respectively), while ‘entertainment and connectivity’ comes third (48 percent). ‘Health’ and ‘smart appliances’ are neck and neck in fourth place at 43 percent each. But when it comes to the different countries, this broad picture shows strong national variations – such as the appeal of security and control which stands at over a third (38 percent) in the UK, but over a half (54 percent) in the USA and South Korea.

Barriers to adopting smart home technology

There is similar national variation in the barriers that consumers feel are holding them back from acquiring smart home products. The leading issues across all countries are price, with over a third of people overall quoting this as a barrier, followed by privacy concerns (will my home be hacked?), cited by a quarter. But while that’s the international trend, in the UK, the second highest barrier cited is lack of knowledge, not privacy – while in Brazil it’s poor internet connection.

Preferred smart home suppliers

When it came to consumers’ preference on whom they trust to supply their smart home technology, 45 percent wanted a single vendor to provide everything – most likely in the desire for simplicity and a single ecosystem – while 29 percent favored having a range of vendors. But even here there are national differences. For example, while consumers in most countries favor a utility supplier to provide the energy or lighting aspect of their smart home, South Korean consumers much prefer an electronics manufacturer for this aspect.

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