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65% of U.S. Households Still Do Not Own Smart Home Device

NPD Group reports that nearly two-thirds of U.S. market has not yet embraced smart home devices. Security cameras and video doorbells are most prevalent.

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Market saturation? No way. According to the Home Automation Ownership & Usage Report from NPD Group’s Connected Intelligence, still just 35% of consumers report they own at least one type of smart device. That means there is still a large opportunity of untapped homes for integrators.

NPD defines a smart home device as security cameras, baby monitors, smart lighting, system controllers, smart locks, smart doorbells, smart garage door openers, smart power, smart sensors, item trackers, and home automation kits. across a portfolio of products.

The report found that ownership rates vary greatly by the type of smart device. Security cameras currently lead the pack as the most popular smart home device, owned by 15% of consumers.

Likewise, smart doorbells – also used for monitoring and security purposes – are driving the highest absolute unit volume changes year-over-year, an increase of 1.82 million units and 64% growth.

Comparatively, categories outside of security are attracting less attention from consumers. For example, devices such as smart light bulbs and power – products that consumers tend to purchase as items that are convenient and “nice to have” – have fallen to low single-digit unit growth.

NPD Group: Higher Income Households Are More Likely Smart Home Owners

There continues to be a sizable income divide between consumers who own smart home devices and those who do not. In fact, ownership in the highest income households is more than double ownership in households with lower incomes. In addition, households earning $150,000+ are more likely to own a broader portfolio of device types. However, these higher-income households make up just 15% of the U.S. representative population.

Yet, the report indicates that cost of smart home devices is not necessarily the only – or even the primary – factor driving purchase decisions, as witnessed by the fact that consumers of all income levels gravitate more to security cameras when starting their smart home collections.

“The value proposition of security cameras – providing safety for both family and home – really resonates with consumers,” says Jill Aldort, director and analyst for home automation and mobile accessories, The NPD Group. “Even as the smart home market continues to develop and other products become more readily available, consumers today are still most likely to take that first step into the smart home market with the purchase of a security camera.”

This report draws data from the bi-annual Home Automation Ownership & Usage survey, last fielded from January 6 through January 23, 2020 and reaching 5,044 U.S. consumers age 18 and older across a broad range of geographic regions and demographic profiles. These consumers include both owners and non-owners of smart home devices. This report also draws from The NPD Group’s Retail Tracking Service.

About the Author

Jason Knott
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Jason Knott:

Jason Knott is Chief Content Officer for Emerald's Connected Brands. Jason has covered low-voltage electronics as an editor since 1990, serving as editor and publisher of Security Sales & Integration. He joined CE Pro in 2000 and serves as Editor-in-Chief of that brand. He served as chairman of the Security Industry Association’s Education Committee from 2000-2004 and sat on the board of that association from 1998-2002. He is also a former board member of the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation. He has been a member of the CEDIA Business Working Group since 2010. Jason graduated from the University of Southern California.

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CCTVDoorbellResearchVideo Surveillance