Are you very familiar with smart-home services and providers? You’re pretty much alone. Nearly two-thirds of broadband users are unfamiliar with them, according to a white paper from Consumer Electronics Association and Parks Associates. The market research companies conducted an online survey with 10,000 broadband heads of household earlier in 2014. Only 10 percent of respondents considered themselves “very familiar” with smart home products and services, and the number dipped to eight percent when it came to knowledge about where to buy such services.
Those in the know should expect more company in the near future, though. The report predicts the sales of smart-home devices — including thermostats, door locks, smoke detectors, and light bulbs — to grow from 20.7 million to 35.9 million by 2017.
If you think Nest has a corner on the market in this area, you may be surprised to learn that those surveyed weren’t all that familiar with the smart thermostat maker, unless they were very familiar with smart-home devices. When asked to pull three brands of smart-home manufacturers out of thin air, only three percent of respondents came up with Nest. To be fair, it was only second behind Apple, which was named by five percent. Also, only six to seven percent were able to come up with any names at all. Security companies getting in the smart-device game have a brand-recognition advantage: 16 percent of respondents named ADT, without prompting, when asked to recall three smart-home service providers.
Anyone planning on Kickstarting a smart-home product may want to give Nest a run for its money. Of all the products listed, thermostats were the one people were most likely to buy (16 percent). Meanwhile, it might be time to ding-dong ditch that smart-doorbell idea, as 82 percent of those surveyed said they were unlikely to purchase one.
Finally, the survey found smart-home device owners were two times as likely to own one or more high-tech devices than non-owners. However, the biggest predictor of whether someone owned a smart-home product was homeownership. It makes sense that fewer people renting would have the inclination or opportunity to install some of these products.
At least now you know you can wow roughly 62 percent of your relatives by enlightening them about smart-home products this Thanksgiving.