One in 10 smart home device owners report unresolved technical problems

one in ten smart home devies have unresolved technical errors echo dot 2937627 1920
HeikoAL/Pixabay

Smart home devices are supposed to make our lives easier, but if they suddenly stop working without warning, they can end up doing just the opposite. According to new research, more than one in 10 people have reported incidents of their internet-connected devices failing prey to technical issues that go unresolved.

Parks Associates surveyed consumers of smart home devices to find out more about how people interact with them. What they discovered was that 12 percent of smart home device owners in the United States have had a device become basically unusable due to a technical issue. Many of those problems went unaddressed for a significant period of time.

It’s worth noting that the research actually found the number of total problems reported dropped — just 14 percent of people said they had one or more problems of any kind with a smart home device in the past year. But the problems that did occur went unresolved at a higher rate, which of course is a serious problem, especially for appliances that perform vital services.

For example, if your internet-connected thermostat suddenly stops working and there’s no clear fix, it’s going to be a cold winter in your place. Likewise, if your home security system ceases operating correctly, it’s going to be hard for you to feel safe in your own home. Because a steady Wi-Fi connection is essential for most of these devices, spotty service can also lead to ongoing issues with devices.

Patrice Samuels, senior analyst for Parks Associates, chalked the issue up in part to the devices getting more complicated and the ecosystem of products getting more diverse. “Strong value is achieved from the smart home when devices communicate with each other, but diversity in device technology and communication protocols adds complexity to the smart home and creates challenges in achieving seamless communication,” he said in a statement.

Smart home device manufacturers can cut down on some of these issues by offering more robust support solutions. When folks are left to read through technical documents or handle complex tasks on their own, it’s more likely that they’ll just let the busted device gather dust. That’s not great for the consumer or the companies serving them.

Product Review

The Schlage Encode Wi-Fi smart lock shuts out the competition with looks, style

Easy to install and easy on the eye, Schlage Encode’s integrated Wi-Fi and third-party platform support make it a fine choice for the smart home. We took it for a test run to see how well it worked.
Buying Guides

Want a home command center? These smart displays put you in charge

Which smart display is best for you? A lot of smart speakers with a screen have been released lately. Whether it's Alexa or Google Assistant, here are a few of our favorites available now.
Emerging Tech

A battery-free pacemaker harvests and stores energy from heartbeats

Researchers in China and the United States have developed a new battery-free pacemaker which gathers its required electricity from the energy of heartbeats. Here's why that's so exciting.
Home Theater

FiOS problems: The potholes in Verizon's fiber internet and how to fix them

Verizon FiOS offers no just fiber internet, but TV and home phone service as well. See what kind of problems, issues, and trouble other Verizon FiOS users have reported before you decide to sign up for the service.
Gaming

The hottest Nintendo Switch games you can get right now

The Nintendo Switch's lineup started off small, but games have steadily released as the console continues through its second year. Here are the best Nintendo Switch games available now.
Mobile

Google Assistant for Android and iOS wants to tell you a story

Just in time for National Tell a Story Day on April 27, Google has added the ability for Google Assistant for iOS and Android to read you a story. So now there's no excuse for not catching up with a good book.
Product Review

Arlo’s doorbell is missing a camera, but ease and style make it a great addition

A lack of an integrated camera means that the Arlo Audio Doorbell isn’t as versatile as competitors, but a low price, simple installation and smart features make it an easy add-on for Arlo smart home fans.
Smart Home

The best washing machines make laundry day a little less of a chore

It takes a special kind of person to love doing laundry, but the right machine can help make this chore a little easier. Check out our picks for the best washing machines on the market right now.
Smart Home

This Amazon Echo and Pandora Premium smart speaker bundle saves you $138

QVC just took online merchants to school with a massive discount on the second-generation Amazon Echo with a 3-month voucher for Pandora Premium. The minimum you save is $128. Save off $10 extra with TAKE10 code for first QVC orders.
Mobile

Bothering the bots: Funny questions and commands to pose to Google Assistant

Communicating with Google Assistant can be a chore. Luckily, there are plenty of fun questions and commands to add a little entertainment to your oft-rigid conversation. Here are some of our favorites.
Smart Home

Keep your stuff safe and porch pirates away with the best home security cams

When it comes to the best home security cameras, the choice often comes down to the one that simply knows how to stay out of your way. Here are some of our favorites, both indoor and outdoor.
Smart Home

The Instant Pot LUX60 pressure cooker gets a huge price cut at Walmart

Walmart cut the Instant Pot LUX60 6-quart, 6-in-1 multi-use programmable pressure cooker price so low, people who already have an Instant Pot may buy it as a spare. Digital Trends' reviewer said, "The Instant Pot Lux won't disappoint."
Smart Home

The Ninja Foodi multicooker gets a steep $80 price cut on Amazon

Amazon took a healthy chunk off the price of the Ninja OP302 Foodi Cooker, Steamer, and Air. This heavy-duty, multi-function appliance morphs from pressure cooker to air fryer, crisper, steamer, slow cooker, and even a dehydrator.
Deals

Best Buy slashes prices on Sonos and Sonance outdoor speaker bundles

Best Buy slashed the price of the Sonos and Sonance Outdoor Speaker Streaming Audio Bundle with an xPress Audio Keypad. This outdoor bundle includes a Sonos amplifier, two Sonance speakers, and a remote. You can save $550 during this sale.