When it comes to smart-home technology, consumers are all over the map in terms of what they want and how they want it.
For example, smart speakers on average are considered the least important smart device in the home; however, the category wins the “most important” vote with 35% of respondents putting it at the top of their must-have list, according to a recent survey of 1,000 consumers by Noon Home, a manufacturer of automated lighting controls.
Similarly, 33% of consumers rank “smart TV” as the least important smart device in their homes; however, smart TVs on average are more important than any other smart-home technology, including surveillance cameras and automated door locks.
“Yet the data shows that appliances like thermostats, smoke detectors and locks are much more universally accepted as important in their homes,” Noon explains in a statement about the study.
The figures underscore the disparate demands – or perhaps the lack of knowledge – among smart-device users.
“From our research, Americans’ buying patterns don’t match their values when it comes to smart-home devices,” Noon says. “Smart devices are still considered to be a costly, unnecessary purchase but the majority of respondents do want smart-home devices in their homes, specifically their kitchens and bedrooms.”
More Noon findings are revealed in the press release below.
Noon Home Smart Home Sentiment Study 2018
October 2, 2018 – NOON is dedicated to improving day-to-day experiences in the home. To ensure we're creating products that best serve our mission and our customers, we're continuously studying how people interact with their home, technology and one another.
As hardware startups close out summer and begin to prepare for the holiday rush, we decided to dive deeper into the psyche of consumers across the U.S. to create a benchmark on smart home sentiment. We surveyed over 1,000 U.S. consumers revealing how they use smart technologies throughout their homes, how genders and generations perceive smart technologies, and what encourages (and discourages) them when shopping for smart home technology.
Here’s a look into interesting trends we uncovered…
People Want to Live in their Home. Not their Phone
The biggest pain point regarding smart home tech? Too many software updates was ranked as the biggest frustration regarding smart home device after poor battery life. Adding to this app fatigue, 60% of consumers would be more inclined to purchase smart home devices if it did not require them to use an app. The data also shows that consumers need to be educated on the full value of smart devices, with 64% of respondents citing need and cost as the main barriers to purchasing devices, followed by general tech fear (security and setup at 20%).
Streaming Music is a Smart-Home Must
Smart-home speakers were ranked the most important smart-product with 36% of votes which will be music to the ears of Amazon, Sonos and Google Home teams. The advancements in being able to have music be mobile across the come, integrated with the home and controlled by voice is not just a nice to have but becoming a must have according to the data. The device with the least amount of votes? TVs. As they say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Where ‘Smarts” Are Most Wanted
The office comes in as the most important place for smart technology. That fits hand in hand with smart speakers being the number one most desired device since the ability to have whole home voice control is key to productivity and conducive of the office environment. The data shows there was no single location in the home as being unsuitable for smart devices, though the jury is still out on the living room and bedroom, likely due to recent privacy concerns around microphone usage on these devices. Interestingly, despite the majority of respondents placing least importance on security devices, at 30%, the front and back door of people’s home received the most overall number of votes for most important place to install smart technologies.
Nest’s Legacy Lives On
Also in the ranking of smart home products, we saw smart thermostat come in second place and smart smoke detector in third, with smart lighting close behind. The fact that these products now resonate with consumers as needing to be smart shows great marketing and branding from Nest – and proof that great products and change market interest and demand. That makes our CEO and former part of the Nest founding team very happy. As far as what’s next? Based on the data (and what we believe internally), expect lighting controls to be the next battle for mindshare.
Mind The (Gender) Gap
Women (46%) are more concerned with how smart technology can keep their families safe whereas men seem to be more concerned with convenience (52%). Supporting this viewpoint – men who see smart home technologies as mainly offering convenience don't value it as much as women who view smart technology as offering safety and security – 25% of male respondents voted necessity as biggest obstacle to purchasing smart devices versus 15% of women.
Let there be Light.
At NOON we have a number of scene-setting themes (also known as coordinating all the lights in a room with one-touch control), which customers love, and it turns out the general population wants more options too. One third of respondents wish their lighting had more features, with baby boomers being the biggest fans of smart lighting features (activity-based lighting, one touch control, and more). Having your lights automatically turn on or off when you come home was another popular perk from respondents (55%). If you’re a NOON user you’re in luck and can already do this with our scheduling feature.
Smart Sentiment Summary
From our research, Americans’ buying patterns don’t match their values when it comes to smart-home devices. Smart devices are still considered to be a costly, unnecessary purchase but the majority of respondents do want smart-home devices in their homes, they’re just prioritizing easy convenience hacks first as they test drive what works and what doesn’t. Lighting consistently ranked as an area they wish had more features, while other devices got dinged for having too many software updates and poor battery life.
The final word… We’ve still got a ways to go until every home is a smart home. That said, consumers appear to be becoming more familiar with smart technologies throughout their home and this is only going to improve with advances in AI and machine learning. The main barriers to purchasing smart technologies and the importance consumers place on devices like thermostats and smart smoke detectors (two recent additions to the smart home device library) shows that with enough education and familiarity, consumers are willing to welcome smart home devices into their daily lives.