Connected cars and smart city solutions are all the rage with telecom operators right now, but smart home services are also proving to be a burgeoning market.
A ReportLinker survey of more than 500 respondents representative of the general U.S. population found 41 percent reported already owning smart home devices, with an average of 3.4 devices per home. Customers’ favorite devices were connected appliances (20 percent), followed by thermostats (16 percent), security (12 percent), and lighting solutions (10 percent). More than a third of people who own smart home devices said the gadgets make their life easier, while 27 percent also mentioned savings on their energy bills as a perk.
But not everyone is on board the smart home bandwagon. So what’s stopping that other 59 percent from jumping in? Around 29 percent of respondents said smart home devices are just too expensive. Another 26 percent said they don’t see the benefits of smart home devices, and a quarter said they have privacy concerns about their data. That last point matches up with February findings from Parks Associates that revealed 45 percent of broadband households are concerned about privacy and security risks to their smart home devices.
Still, Qorvo’s GM of Low Power Wireless Cees Links recently suggested wireless operators have an opening to capture revenue in the space through Smart Home as a Service (SHaaS) offerings. Such services, he said, would automatically choose which connectivity protocols to use, install and maintain the system, and provide upgrades and support rather than offloading those responsibilities to users and third party service companies. Indeed, a recent report from Parks Associates indicated nearly 60 percent of broadband households want security support services to go with their smart home devices, while another 45 percent said they’d like tools to address device issues.