New research from home technology company IControl Networks demonstrates the importance of security to smart home adoption, with more than two-thirds of consumers ranking security—both for themselves and for their family—as the No. 1 reason for using a smart home system, and 100% of consumers responding that security is a must-have in a home automation system. Ninety percent of respondents to the 2014 State of the Smart Home Report said security is one of the most important reasons for using a smart home system—with 67% ranking it as the No. 1 reason overall. In fact, not including at least some type of security capability in a home automation system was considered unacceptable by all respondents.
Survey results show that fire and carbon monoxide alarms are essential to personal and family security. Eighty-five percent of participants said fire detection was one of the most important features when it comes to protecting themselves and their families, with nearly 60% citing it as No. 1. Though only 11% ranked carbon monoxide alarms as the most important feature, the majority still recognized its importance—with 64% including it in their top three. More than half of consumers also listed gas leak alarms and valve shutoff as a top security feature.
Eighty-six percent ranked property loss protection as one of the top reasons for using a smart home system. After personal and family security, respondents more often mentioned property loss protection as an important feature of the smart home over any other feature, including indoor convenience, energy/resource management, and outdoor convenience.
Respondents realize that these features come with a price tag. A majority (51%) indicated they would pay up to $500 for a fully equipped smart home, with one-third (32%) noting a willingness to pay $500 to $3,000.
“For now, safety and security are driving initial mass market adoption. But, the convenience associated with a connected home will likely play a greater role as consumers realize how much easier automation makes their lives,” says Jim Johnson, executive vice president of IControl Networks.
The survey also looked into the features consumers find most important when it comes to how to manage energy. Eighty percent of respondents said heating and cooling management is one of the top features for reducing utility bills—with more than half citing it as No. 1 in terms of importance. Nearly two-thirds of respondents also said indoor lighting and ceiling fan control is a desired feature, followed next in importance by water management.