By Anthony Capkun
November 11, 2015 – New GfK research shows that half of people around the world (in GfK’s study area) believe smart home technology will make an impact on their lives in the next few years, particularly in security and control, and energy or lighting.
By comparison, only a third say the same for wearables.
Market research firm GfK conducted its study across seven countries, asking consumers to choose which of 11 leading-edge technologies—from 3-D printing to augmented/virtual reality to the internet of things—would have an impact on their lives in the next few years. Respondents were free to choose as many technologies as they wished.
Data currently released for Brazil, U.S.A., U.K., Germany and South Korea indicates a strong interest in smart home technology, with just over half (51%) of consumers backing it. This is well ahead of the third (33%) of people who believe wearables will impact their lives, and on a level with mobile payments (54%).
Top 5 smart home applications
Internationally, the areas of smart home technology applications that have greatest appeal for consumers are:
• Security and control (55%)
• Energy or lighting (53%)
• Entertainment and connectivity (48%)
• Health (43%)
• Smart appliances (43%)
But when it comes to the different countries, this broad picture shows strong national variations, notes GfK, such as the appeal of security and control which stands at over a third (38%) in the U.K., but over a half (54%) in the U.S.A. and South Korea.
Similarly, there are national variations in the barriers that consumers feel are holding them back from acquiring smart home products. The leading issues across all countries are price, with over a third of people overall quoting this as a barrier, followed by privacy concerns (will my home be hacked?), cited by a quarter. But while that’s the international trend: in the U.K., the second-highest barrier cited is lack of knowledge, not privacy, while in Brazil it’s poor internet connectivity.
When it came to preference as to who consumers trust to supply their smart home technology, 45% wanted a single vendor to provide everything, while 29% favoured having a range of vendors. But even here there are national differences: for example, while consumers in most countries favour a utility supplier to provide the energy or lighting aspect of their smart home, South Korean consumers prefer an electronics manufacturer.
The full study is available for purchase as in-depth country reports.