The New Home Trends Institute’s recent report “Smart Home Tech: What Homeowners Value Now and Next,” found that increasing home security is the overall most important solution that smart tech can provide. It’s also the smart tech they see as most worth paying extra to have.
Over half (51%) of respondents say the most crucial solution that smart tech could offer their home is security. That’s followed by 36% who say it’s controlling home systems remotely and 34% who say it’s providing entertainment at home.
Smart tech products integrated throughout the entire home are worth more to homeowners than room-specific solutions. While 93% say it’s worth paying more for whole-house security, only 60% say the same about bathroom solutions.
Video doorbells and smart thermostats are the gateways to smart tech. Homeowners identified the top five smart home products they would pay to have:
Video doorbell (59%)
Smart thermostat (46%)
Smart lighting (30%)
Virtual assistant (27%)
Keyless entry (24%)
Smart home tech promises huge potential for adoption, the report finds. At least half of respondents say they would buy products in one of these areas either now or in the future:
Water monitor sensor (40% now, 21% later)
Smart ventilation (35%, 22%)
Hands-free flush toilet (32%, 22%)
Robotic vacuum (32%, 21%)
Smart lighting (32%, 20%)
Smart blinds (31%, 20%)
Digital presets for shower (29%, 23%)
Fall alert (22%, 30%)
Young families (with all children under age 12) will be the highest adopters of these products. While most homeowners come across smart tech products online when searching for home solutions, 28 percent of young families actively seek them out. Mature singles and couples (age 45 or older) are more heavily influenced by their peers’ recommendations.
But homeowners’ priorities depend on their stage of life.
Before they can realize widespread adoption, smart home tech solutions will have to address homeowners’ concerns. Chief among them: data privacy and security. Of surveyed homeowners, 70 percent have at least one frustration with smart tech solutions currently available.
Products could alleviate such concerns with hacking protection and local data storage, the report advises. For example, CareOS—a smart health and beauty platform that allows owners to track and monitor their personal health data through connected products, like a smart mirror—bolsters privacy by storing all data locally, not in the cloud, and by requiring two-level security to share data.
Products also will need to overcome perceptions of laziness—the idea that smart tech is a lazy choice for less competent homeowners. In the kitchen specifically, they’ll have to address concerns that they cost more to save just a little time and effort and that they could up being more trouble than they’re worth if they break down.
Not all smart tech is equally valuable, according to the survey. Smart tech that does something homeowners cannot do easily, such as monitor the home for leaks, is a lot more valuable than smart tech that takes something homeowners do for themselves and just does it faster, like turning off the lights without getting up.