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The Rise of Smart Home Tech


Consumers are rapidly embracing smart home adoption, seeking new innovations and unprecedented integration across devices and technologies. According to iControl Networks’ 2014 State of the Smart Home report, development in this area is on the rise, expected to grow considerably from 1.9 billion marketplace devices in 2014 to 9 billion by 2018. Data from the report also revealed that nearly 60 percent of U.S. broadband households have some level of interest in benefits enabled by smart home products.  

Similarly, a new survey released by the Internet of Things Consortium (IoTC) and conducted by International Data Corporation (IDC), detailed in this Light Reading article, shows nearly two-thirds of respondents are “moderately or extremely interested” in adopting new smart home solutions.

Among other key findings from this survey:

  • In terms of making purchasing decisions, 54 percent of respondents said word-of-mouth would inform which smart home devices they buy; 43 percent said in-store retail employees rank second as an informational resource.
  • Among the most sought-after smart home services, 60 percent said security and energy efficiency tools would be useful.
  • Forty-four percent said a key reason for their interest in smart devices relates to the cost savings that would be derived from improving efficiencies in their homes.
  • Smart home solutions are not without challenges, with 66 percent of those surveyed citing privacy concerns related to these technologies, and 51 percent speculating whether smart home costs would outweigh their benefits.
  • Some consumers are seeking smart home devices with dynamic capabilities. Nearly a quarter of consumers are only interested in smart home solutions that can be managed with a smartphone, while 37 percent expressed interest in smart home solutions that can transfer TV shows and other media across devices.

Smart home technology is also a focus at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. PCWorld reports that many smart home devices highlighted at CES no longer rely on a hub, but are controlled instead by smartphones and tablets, while appliances are “straight out of The Jetsons.” In addition, CNET notes that Nest, the maker of Nest Learning Thermostat, smoke and CO2 detectors, as well as other connected devices, is also showcasing more than a dozen new brand integrations, which include more key players in the smart home sector.

What lies ahead? According to additional data from the iControl Networks’ research, 53 percent of respondents predict that a singular remote that controls everything in the home will be the norm within the next 10 years, while 56 percent say the Internet of Things will become a reality within five years — a clear sign of consumer belief in the future potential and promise of smart home technology.