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Are you ready for the smart home?

by Ranjiv Dale , 01.04.2014

The evidence that consumers are ready and willing to adopt single-device control over their home and media is compelling, but it’s unlikely (in the early stages at least) that all functions will have widespread appeal.

Our recent study, commissioned by Cisco in 2013, uncovered that the key driver behind potential take-up of the smart home is based on the versatility, control and peace of mind offered by such a single-device control. Unsurprisingly, the tech-oriented sectors of the market emerged as the likely early adopters, linking their home management and video control. But it’s this area that, with education and clear communication of the benefits on offer, could go mainstream.

Other functions such as control over individual devices would seem to be particularly attractive to parents monitoring their children’s internet use, with personalized advertising also likely to draw in niche interest.

However, there are concerns largely around privacy and security. Price is an additional barrier, with results showing a market contrast between the UK and the US over how much consumers would be willing to pay. And mainstream adoption could be thwarted by perceptions of complexity.

Nevertheless, suppliers have a real opportunity to position their single-device control as a lifestyle enhancer, highlighting the benefits of home management whether you are in or out of the house, and navigating concerns of invasiveness with in-built security and privacy functions. The convenience of a single control box servicing multiple functions will no doubt chime with anyone used to juggling remote controls.