New research has found that seeing really is believing when it comes to connected home technology: On average, the likelihood that a consumer will purchase a smart home device increases by 93% among those who have seen the technology in action. The data also reveals that personal and family security remains the key driver in smart home adoption with nine out of 10 North American consumers agreeing this is one of the most important reasons to purchase a connected home. 

The second annual State of the Smart Home Report from Icontrol Networks examines the changing adoption indicators and attitudes towards the smart home, levels of intent to purchase connected products, and desires and concerns about owning ‘connected’ technology. The report also details the smart home landscape by age, preference and region, as well as new, emerging factors most predictive of consumer purchase behavior. 

The research also found a rise in excitement about the connected home, with millennials (79%) and parents (76%) leading the pack, and 50% of the overall population excited about the technology. The report also showed that interest is driven by simple devices with obvious benefits – and to drive mass adoption, device makers must show how products solve real, everyday problems.  

“We’ve been in this space for more than a decade, and in the last two years we have seen excitement over the ‘Internet of Things’ explode,” said Bob Hagerty, CEO of Icontrol Networks. “For smart home to really hit its stride, the industry must focus on what consumers really want – peace of mind. For the second year in a row, our survey clearly shows that people are predominantly interested in the security benefits of smart home technology, and once that box is checked, the new and exciting smart home features and devices will follow.”

Overall, consumers expressed the highest levels of interest in having connected thermostats, cameras, lights and door locks:

    • Self-adjusting thermostat: 72%
    • Doors that can be locked from a remote location: 71%
    • Indoor lighting that automatically adjusts: 69%
    • Outdoor lighting that automatically adjusts: 65%
    • Home monitoring cameras: 65%

Additional findings include: 
Definition around smart home shopping journey

  • 42% of respondents report they would be most inclined to incorporate smart home technology into their home when they are making renovations or upgrades, followed next by when they buy a new home (26%) or move (25%).
  • 74% of consumers agree they would like at least some help with the installation and set-up of their smart home devices – and 52% said they would like someone to do all of the installation and set-up for them.

Which room is the heart of the smart home?

  • 40% of North Americans listed their entertainment room as the area of the home they are most excited about connecting to their smart home, followed next by their kitchen (39%) and their bedroom (34%).

Elder care as an underutilized opportunity 

  • 50% of North Americans believe they would sleep better at night if their parents or grandparents had smart home technology, a number that is significantly higher among those aged 25-34 (72%) and those who identified themselves as a parent (74%). 

Geography matters

  • Residents in the Northeast region expressed the highest level of excitement about the possibilities of the smart home. Uncoincidentally, this region also reported the largest number of residents who knew someone with a smart home, backing up one of the report’s main findings that seeing is believing when it comes to connected home technology.
  • One in two Midwest residents mentioned their kitchen as the one room they were most excited about connecting to their smart home. 
  • Those in the South expressed the highest likelihood among regions to be interested in the connected thermostat (77%).
  • Residents in the West were 100% more likely than the U.S. population to list their sprinklers as the one device they wished could read their mind and operate themselves.