Interoperability key to smart home

According to Parks Associates, smart home solutions will increasingly rely on voice control, video and data analytics, sound recognition, and ...

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According to Parks Associates, smart home solutions will increasingly rely on voice control, video and data analytics, sound recognition, and AI to simplify the user experience. The research house says U.S. broadband households now own more than 10 connected devices, including a mix of connected consumer electronics (CE), smart home, and connected health devices, and as consumers buy more, they base their purchase decisions on a product's ability to work with the existing devices in their home.

"Interoperability continues to be a leading challenge for the smart home industry," said Chris O'Dell, research associate, Parks Associates. "Nearly 75% of consumers who intend to purchase a smart home device in the next year report that the ability for that device to work well with other devices is an important factor in their purchase decision. This challenge intensifies when consumers purchase stand-alone devices at different times, from different brands, rather than purchasing smart home systems."

Parks also says more than 30% of computing and entertainment device owners report experiencing loss of wireless connectivity, with home network routers as the most common source of the problems. New solutions based on mesh networks and 5G technologies are aimed to resolve wireless issues.

"Mesh networks are designed to better manage WiFi connectivity in the home and will help improve the user experience as consumers add more wireless devices to the home," O'Dell said. "The amount of wireless data is increasing substantially, and the rollout of 5G technologies will ease the burden on both mobile and home networks."

Other findings indicate:

  • Consumer interest in products supported with advanced analytics is strong - 67% of consumers rate "alerts when someone enters your home," a key video analytics capability, as the most appealing among a range of home security features.
  • 75% of U.S. broadband households want to keep tight control over their personal data, and 45% are "very concerned" about hackers gaining control of their connected devices.
  • Smart home purchase intentions have increased from 21% at the beginning of 2014 to 43% at the end of 2018, with 31% of consumers reporting high intention to purchase one of the devices.
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