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Smart Home Systems, Products, and Services

Consumers evenly divided between preference for total control and customization versus “set-it-and-forget-it” model in smart home app experience

73% of US broadband households that own or are planning to buy a smart home device consider interoperability important 

New research released from Parks Associates following CES® 2022 reveals US broadband households are split nearly 50/50 between a customized and highly controlled app and a simple and automated experience when asked about their ideal app experience for smart home devices. The firm’s All Apps Aren’t Equal: Smart Home User Experiences finds 52% of US broadband households want an app that gives them high levels of control, while 48% want an app with “amazing automation” that requires minimal input. Currently, 36% of broadband households own a smart home device, and 45% report high intention to purchase a smart home device in the next six months.

Smart Home Control - consumer preferences

“Companies need to account for these varying demands among different consumer segments,” said Chris White, Senior Analyst, Parks Associates. “Tech-enthusiast consumers and smart home device owners want control, while older consumers and those not yet using smart home devices want automation. These findings underscore the need for a broad approach in smart home app development, with in-depth knowledge of the preferences within each consumer segment.”

The research, based on a survey of more than 10,000 US broadband households, delivers an in-depth examination of the user experience among smart home app users, including preferences for modes of interaction and relative value of multiple apps for smart home tasks. Interoperability is important to consumers—73% of US broadband households that own or are planning to buy a smart home device consider interoperability with other products important to their purchase decision. This aligns with the goals of industry efforts such as the new Matter initiative.

“We first asked respondents to consider an unbranded ‘group of companies’ with a mark that ensured interoperability, and we asked consumers if it would be important when they were choosing which products to buy,” White said. “We then introduced examples of the companies involved and presented the Matter logo. In both cases, consumers responded favorably, reaffirmingthat interoperability has great appeal to consumers.”

The research shows growth in the proportion of homes with smart products and the number of devices per household. Households with smart home devices own an average of eight devices.

“Use of an app that controls multiple products increases with the number of devices owned,” White said. “Security system owners are far more likely to own smart home devices, but all providers are vying to provide a unified point of control to the smart home and thus ‘own’ the relationship with the consumer.”

About Parks Associates

Parks Associates, a woman-founded and certified business, is an internationally recognized market research and consulting company specializing in emerging consumer technology products and services. Founded in 1986, Parks Associates provides business intelligence and research services through its proprietary methodologies developed over decades, including quarterly surveys of 10,000 internet households.

The company's expertise crosses many industries: home security and smart home, streaming video, broadband and pay-TV services, digital media and platforms, gaming, Wi-Fi and home networks, connected health, support, consumer electronics, home control systems, energy management, and tech solutions for the multi-dwelling (MDU), small-to-medium business (SMB), and commercial building markets.

Each year, Parks Associates brings thousands of leaders together for its webinars and annual events. The firm hosts the annual executive research and strategy conferences CONNECTIONS™, Connected Health Summit, Smart Energy Summit, Smart Spaces, and Future of Video.

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