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The Future of Smart Homes

post2Perhaps you’ve noticed the term the Internet of Things (IoT) being bandied about recently. This term, describing an increasingly interconnected world was first brought to light a few years ago with the fanciful futuristic notion of a completely connected home (you know, your alarm clock tells the coffee pot and water heater to crank up for your morning dash, and your car tells them both to shut down, and so on). With the popular acceptance of Siri, Alexa and chatbots pretty much at every company’s digital touch point, we seem to be on the cusp of critical mass of Smart Home adoption predicted so long ago. So how far along are we on this road, and what are the factors that are leading or inhibiting its implementation?

We’re sure you won’t be surprised to find that large-scale conversion to Smart Homes has been very slow. A recent study by PwC (you may remember them best as super-duper accounting firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers), shows an even spread of 26% of people owning multiple Smart home devices; 28% not owning but planning to own in the future; 23% not owning, nor ever plan to own; and the hot button tandem of 15% not owning but planning on owning within a year, and 8% used to own but no longer do.

So what drives people to make the decision? Another non-surprise: money. But it’s not the outlay or expense deterrent, but rather the energy savings attraction that is the main driver, as the PwC study shows the motivation scale that drives adaptation to a Smart home.

Among current non-users, here are the factors most likely to get them to move toward a connected home:

  1. Reduced energy bill: 53%
  2. Increased security in home: 47%
  3. Peace of mind: 40%
  4. Decreased stress: 38%
  5. Increased convenience: 37%
  6. Greater control over home: 34%
  7. Increased home value: 33%

So what will it take for majority adoption of the fully connected Smart home? Time. Time for people to get comfortable with the technology, and time for the technology to become more interoperable, and the savings more known and attractive.

But with refrigerators that can inventory and then order groceries, and cars that can self-diagnose and make service appointments, that time seems to be getting shorter and shorter.

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