Mixed signals in the smart home space

According to Parks Associates research exploring the opportunity for home builders and MDUs as channels for smart home solutions, 25% of U.S. broadband ...

Smart Home

According to Parks Associates research exploring the opportunity for home builders and MDUs as channels for smart home solutions, 25% of U.S. broadband households perceive a "move-in-ready house" would include smart home devices. The research house says that despite device ownership flattening in 2018, purchase intentions for smart home devices continue to increase, with 43% of U.S. broadband households planning to purchase at least one device in 2019.

"Among MDU residents, 19% feel that smart home devices are a very important consideration when looking for a home to rent or purchase," said Patrice Samuels, senior analyst at Parks. "Having smart home devices pre-installed in the home creates an immediate opportunity to demonstrate specific value propositions in safety, energy management, and convenience. It also opens avenues for ongoing services, such as tech support and data management, that are key to ensuring a positive user experience."

Parks says companies offering smart home devices in the builder channel have the advantage of creating model homes specifically designed to demonstrate potential use cases and benefits of smart home devices, which can drive interest. Among MDU channels, properties often roll out devices across many units, exposing a large number of consumers to the products.

"Low consumer awareness and low perceived product value remain significant problems for the smart home industry," Samuels said. "Insufficient information about smart home products often leads to purchase avoidance. These channels help introduce many new consumers to smart home products."

Additional research indicates:

  • Among consumers who do not own or intend to purchase smart home devices, 54% do not perceive that the devices will benefit their lives.
  • Nearly one-quarter of U.S. broadband households own at least one smart home device.        
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