Though they probably aren’t aware of it quite yet, consumers are certainly beginning to embrace smart home technology, according to a recent Harris Poll study. These smart devices, which can range from automated vacuum cleaners to wireless speaker systems to home security devices, aim to make life simpler. But the poll did find that the industry faces two major hurdles as it looks for an even wider and faster rate of adoption: consumer awareness and cost.
Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of Americans said they don’t know much about smart home technology, and a recent Nielsen Connected Life Report found that only 53 percent of household decision makers said they know what connected home technology does. And the Harris Poll determined that the confusion may be rooted in category headings more than in specific products—when asked generically about smart home products, just 7 percent of Americans said they own one; but when presented with a more specific list of devices from the smart home category, 34 percent indicated they own at least one item. That disconnect “signals a need for consumer engagement and education in this budding industry,” Harris Poll said in a statement.
Further complicating things is the fact that 88 percent of the more than 2,000 U.S. adults surveyed said they believe smart home devices are too expensive. And when asked about potential “tipping points” they’d consider when purchasing such technology, the most popular response by a wide margin said they’d wait until a smart home device drops to a price they believe is reasonable (36 percent). Another 9 percent said they’d wait until the “bugs” were worked out, and 12 percent said they will never consider buying smart home technology products—Baby Boomers and Matures were the lost likely to submit the latter response. Another 21 percent said they weren’t sure at what point they’d consider buying smart home technology products, a data point that further signifies the confusion around the space, Harris Poll said.