Connected home devices include home automation devices (such as smart thermostats and WiFi-enabled lightbulbs), home monitoring devices (such as a connected security camera that broadcasts to a person’s device), and home security devices (such as a security camera that connects to a central monitoring station).
All of these categories have grown in the last year, but a recent survey of 6,500 consumers in the US and Germany by analysts at Gartner showed that only 16 per cent of US online households own a connected home device, while Germany has less than 10 per cent of online households with a connected home device.
Moreover, the majority of current spending on connected home devices and services comes from high-income households, and the bulk of that spending has been on devices and services relating to security – such as alarm systems – rather than more advanced connected home devices, such as remote activation of smart products.
One theory behind these numbers is that the current generation of home automation devices is perceived as adding very little value beyond simply being a ‘gimmick’. Hendrik Bartel, research director at Gartner, said that the current value propositions are too vague and not enticing enough to achieve broad market penetration.
Bartel suggested that offering discounts for purchasing multiple devices could help to fuel growth, boosing customer loyalty as well as getting more devices into the household. Ensure that home automation devices easily integrate with other devices already installed in the home is also imperative, he said.