Are Belgians ready for the Smart Home trend?

Technology plays a crucial role in today’s society and has, thanks to its developments, a huge impact on our everyday life. Wearables, virtual reality, 3D printing... are only a few examples of “the 10 tech trends of 2016” according to GfK. We'll take a closer look at the impact of technology on ‘housing’: Smart Home.

What is a ‘Smart Home’ : a ‘Smart Home’ is a home where several appliances are connected through (wireless) internet connection. The Smart Home trend has caught the attention of companies from different sectors, which means that by now a wide range of applications has been made available.

-        Smart control and security: alarms, smoke detectors, motion sensors, digital keys,…
-        Smart appliances: robotic vacuum cleaners, smart washing machines, toothbrushes,…
-        Smart energy & lighting: smart thermostat, energy manager or application, smart lights,…
-        Smart connectivity & entertainment: SmartTV, audio streaming systems,…
-        Smart health: monitoring of the heart rate, health parameters,…

Smart Home

It seems that, out of all these applications, the consumer worldwide is mostly interested in security and in applications concerning energy and lighting, even though there is also quite some interest in other applications.

Belgian consumers are open-minded as well about Smart Home: approximately 7 out of 10 Belgians say they find it an appealing idea. Even 1 out of 3 Belgians is extremely interested in Smart Home applications.

How appealing is Smart Home to you?

This however doesn’t mean Smart Home applications will conquer the Belgian market straight away: we see some clear barriers.

The most important one is the (too) high cost of Smart Home applications: 56% of the Belgian consumers find this a big obstacle. A second barrier that withholds consumers to implement Smart Home, is possible privacy issues. The younger the consumer, the bigger this barrier seems to be.

A third big obstacle is the lack of knowledge about (possible) applications. The lack of product knowledge is a decisive argument for older consumers not to purchase Smart Home applications.

Smart Home Barriers

And last but not least, we see a lot of opportunities for companies who offer these applications. Almost half of all consumers prefer one provider for various Smart Home applications, instead of separate providers for different applications. The seamless interaction of various applications with minimal effort is after all crucial in order to provide a positive experience to the consumer.

This will surely lead to competing companies who are forced to work together for certain Smart Home applications and when that moment arrives, the true value of a smart house will really reveal itself.