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Sarah Leonard

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Cost, Confidence and Convenience: Survey Reveals Americans' Attitudes on the Smart Home



Cost, Confidence and Convenience: Survey Reveals Americans' Attitudes on the Smart Home

 


A new smart-home study recently released from Lowe’s found that while Rosie the Robot is the futuristic feature consumers would want most from “The Jetsons,” more than 70 percent of smartphone users in America just wish they could control something in their home from their mobile device without getting out of bed. Lowe’s 2014 Smart Home Survey examined Americans’ attitudes and experiences with home automation, with a particular look at the most important features and top reasons for owning smart-home products.

The data reveals that a majority of Americans are generally favorable to smart homes, with 50 percent preferring do-it-yourself solutions, and nearly two-thirds (62 percent) finding the smart home most beneficial for monitoring safety and security.

The Smart Home Survey, conducted online in July by Harris Poll on behalf of Lowe’s, polled more than 2,000 U.S. adults aged 18+ and found that 52 percent of Americans feel that having a smart home is at least somewhat important to them. When it comes to purchasing consideration, more than half (56 percent) of Americans cite either cost or fees as the most important deciding factor (31 percent say monthly fee amount and 26 percent say the cost of equipment), followed by ease of use (13 percent) and security (11 percent).

“In general, Americans feel positively toward products that will make their homes safer, more energy efficient and easier to manage. It is added evidence that the smart home and Internet of Things are here to stay,” says Kevin Meagher, Lowe’s vice president and general manager, Smart Home.

Additional key findings include:

It’s All about the Benjamins!

  • In addition to citing overall cost as the most important factor in the purchasing decision of smart-home products, Americans are more than twice as likely to prefer a DIY solution without a monthly fee over a professionally installed/monitored system with a monthly service fee (50 percent vs. 21 percent).
  • 40 percent say a benefit of owning a smart home would be to cut costs and save money on energy bills.

Safety First

  • 62 percent of Americans rank security and home monitoring as the most beneficial reason to own a smart home.
  • Overall convenience comes in at third place (35 percent), and protection from floods, fire and other disasters (29 percent) ranks fourth.
  • Americans aged 65 and older (24 percent) are more than twice as likely as those aged 18-64 (11 percent) to name ease of use as the most important factor in smart-home product purchase consideration.

Wishful Thinking in the Age of DIY

  • While Rosie the Robot is the most-wanted futuristic feature from “The Jetsons,” according to more than one-third (36 percent) of Americans, most smartphone or tablet owners (70 percent) wish they could just control something in their home from their mobile device without getting out of bed.
  • “The Jetsons” automatic meal machine ranked second (19 percent), followed by the Flying Suit (16 percent).
  • In order of importance, Americans who own a smartphone or tablet want to adjust the thermostat (44 percent), turn on the lights (39 percent) or start the coffee pot (27 percent) before getting out of bed.
  • Nearly half of Americans (49 percent) wish their home would already be the perfect temperature when they arrive home. Other popular wishes include the lights being on (37 percent) and doors being unlocked (27 percent).
  • The top three things Americans wish they could control before they arrive home are actually the same three things they’re most likely to forget to do before leaving the house: turn off the lights (18 percent), adjust the thermostat (15 percent) or lock the door (5 percent).
  • Over half of Americans (52 percent) admit they forget to do something when they leave the home.

Smart Parents, Safe Kids

  • 61 percent of parents with children ages 3-17 plan to monitor their children in some way when they go back to school.
  • 35 percent plan to buy their child a cellphone
  • 19 percent will use at-home cameras
  • 17 percent will receive text notifications
  • 13 percent plan to put a GPS or monitoring device in their child’s backpack
  • People in the Western region of the country (23 percent) are more likely than those in the Northeast (4 percent) or Midwest (9 percent) to put a GPS or monitoring device in their child’s backpack
  • Midwesterners are the least likely (41 percent) to monitor their children in any way when they go back to school.
  • Men are more likely (68 percent) than women (55 percent) to monitor their child’s after-school activity.

Source: Lowe’s

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.