What is a smart home? It’s a home equipped with smart products connected through Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to control or automate the functions of a house. Thermostats that learn to adjust the temperature automatically based on your schedule, lightbulbs that you can control from your phone, doors that automatically lock when you leave the house are just a few examples of home automation.
Results of the Smart Home Marketplace Survey from Coldwell Banker Real Estate shows that time for mainstream smart home adoption is nigh. The recent survey showed that 45 percent of the 4,065 respondents said they either own or plan to invest in smart home technology in 2016. Of these people, 36 percent said they don't consider themselves early adopters. Among those who do not yet own any smart home devices, 27 percent said they will incorporate it into their lives this year.
Perhaps a more important sign for the future of the smart home is the fact that such technology is now being adopted across a variety of demographic lines. Households making $50,000 to $75,000 are adopting smart home technology at the same pace as those with incomes of $75,000 to $100,000. This is also true of those with some college education and those with college degrees. Older generations are also buying more smart home products, though they show a preference for different kinds of smart products than younger generations.
Most respondents in the survey said products that make a home “smart” are security devices like locks and alarm systems, temperature products like thermostats, lighting systems and safety measures like sensors for carbon monoxide. The first three are some of the most common and visible forms of smart home products. Nest has gotten a lot of publicity for its thermostat and security camera, as Philips has for its Hue line of “connected” lighting products.
The most popular smart home technology today, though, is entertainment systems like smart TVs and speakers. The survey showed that 44 percent of respondents who already own smart home technology also have a smart entertainment product. This could be an important means of getting people to buy other “connected” home products, as 70 percent of respondents said buying one smart home product made them more likely to get another. It's no wonder Samsung is working to make TVs the central hub of the smart home.
Security and temperature control systems were the second and third most popular smart home products, at 31 and 30 percent, respectively. These are also the areas China manufacturers have focused on. A number of manufacturers offer smart lights and there are all kinds of “connected” security cameras being exported from China. Entertainment systems may be a gateway to getting people more interested in smart homes, but consumers often buy their own entertainment systems. Smart security systems were said by respondents to have the most appeal for coming pre-installed in a home.