The Open Connectivity Foundation is Simplifying the Smart Home
For all of the excitement in the tech world around the potential of the smart home, consumers haven’t been so quick to adopt the technology into their homes. According to research from Parks Associates published earlier this year, more than 100 million U.S. households did not have a smart home device as of the end of 2016. That’s out of a possible 117 million. That means smart home market penetration is around 14.5 percent right now. The numbers have been climbing, but not at the pace that analysts expect.
There are myriad reasons why this might be the case—privacy chief among them. But if there were one non-privacy-related thing holding back wider smart home adoption today, I’d put my entire life’s worth on the simplicity chip.
It’s one thing to plug in an Amazon Echo, screw in a connected light bulb, or even install a smart thermostat. Beyond that—and even the latter can be a bit tricky—the idea of converting your house into a smart home can be a bit overwhelming. For the average consumer, if a product can’t be plugged in and just work, chances are they won’t be willing to buy in. Even as someone who reviews tech products, I’ve experienced some difficulty getting all of the smart gadgets I have at home to play nicely with one another, and I’m not even talking about automated shades or whole house audio. It’s just simple things like a few speakers, a smart TV, and a few light bulbs.