Report: Half of consumers believe smart home devices will be mainstream by 2020


New research from Bluetooth SIG shows that many folks are ready to live like the Jetsons.


A survey conducted by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) has revealed that nearly half (46%) of consumers believe smart home devices will be mainstream by 2020. The study had explored the attitudes of American, German and British consumers towards connected living, and as a whole, discovered tremendous excitement around not only potential applications but future installations, too.

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Bluetooth SIG also that 6% of those surveyed already accepted that the era of the smart home has indeed arrived, with two-thirds (66%) thinking that smart home devices will be mainstream within the next decade. This strong consumer interest was tempered by their high expectations for simplicity and cost-effectiveness.

When asked what is required for commonplace purchases of such devices, 54% of respondents cited simplicity and straightforwardness in use with 41% believing that they should be easy to configure. Moreover, 28% suggested that these gadgets should connect seamlessly with a smartphone, tablet or PC. Nearly three-quarters (73%) admitted they would be frustrated if it took too long to set up a smart home unit.

“This study confirms consumers are looking for smart home products that ‘just work’,” added Mark Powell, Executive Director of the Bluetooth SIG. “It’s evident demand for smart home devices is ramping up and consumers are keen to live in the scenarios conjured up by the Jetsons over 60 years ago. Smart home manufacturers need to deliver products that are simple, cost-effective and secure for this segment to become mainstream.”

Evident by the sheer number of hacks and discovered flaws in recent months, it’s no surprise that 42% of consumers felt that keeping their data secure was paramount in the decision-making process. 67% of those surveyed were also concerned that some smart home devices would make their data vulnerable.

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Despite all of the buzz surround intelligent appliances, like washing machines and kitchen gadgetry, the research unearthed that the hype is yet to materialize into actual demand from consumers. Keyword being ‘yet.’ In fact, the devices consumers find most appealing are highly convenient solutions that enable them to control their environment, such as smart heating/thermostats (45%), smart lighting (34%) and smart security/monitoring devices (33%).

As Bluetooth SIG explains, the results certainly conveyed a preference towards the smart home solutions that offer tangible benefits, ranging from controlling their heating or lighting remotely to cut down on bills (66%) to receiving smartphone notifications from their home security system if it detects a threat (73%).

The results showed a preference towards the smart home solutions that offer tangible benefits as well. For example, 66 percent of consumers say that being able to control their heating or lighting remotely would help them save energy and cut their energy bills. A further 73 percent would like to receive smartphone notifications from their home security system if it detects a threat.​

“It’s clear there is an appetite for these kinds of solutions but widespread adoption will require the use of mainstream connectivity technologies,” Powell concluded. “As we’ve seen in other segments, niche technologies simply cannot provide the simplicity, interoperability and security that consumers demand. Bluetooth Smart technology offers all those things with an enormous install base in smartphones, tablets and PCs, a simple pairing process and AES-128 bit cryptography for maximum security. While consumers feel smart home devices aren’t quite mainstream yet, Bluetooth is already paving the way for manufacturers to deliver the products consumers want. These manufacturers can also be confident in the knowledge that Bluetooth Smart has a development environment that makes it easy to bring these products to market.”

More than ever, consumers have high expectations for home appliances. With billions of connected devices expected in the coming years, users will demand sophisticated, feature-rich products that are reliable, easy-to-use, and most of all, secure. Whether it’s refrigeration, cooking or washing, Atmel has you covered. Want to continue reading? You can find all of Bluetooth SIG’s findings here.

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