Consumers blow cold on smart home technology

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Written By Mohsen Salami

Consumers find smart home technology a big turn-off and companies are struggling to put across the benefits of the internet of things, according to a new report.

Just over seven out of 10 consumers are unwilling to pay for smart devices in the next five years, says a survey by accountancy firm PwC.

Although many who have made the investment are pleased with their purchase, few are bothering to outlay the cash to upgrade to smart technology such as intelligent heating, plugs, appliances, lighting or automated devices.

The survey also revealed consumers are keener to find out more about smart technology when they can see a cost benefit, such as energy savings or free supply and installation.

PwC also looked at the smart devices selling best.

Smart home barrier

Smart plugs, lighting and heating are the most common internet of things purchases. Robot cleaners, smart appliances and air conditioning are the least popular.

One of the big barriers to smart devices in the home is that users believe they are difficult to install and set up and do not know where to go for professional help.

PwC warns that companies need to take these issues on board and make changes in the way they market smart devices or they could miss the chance to play a part in the market.

A separate study concluded new technology becomes the norm in six to eight years after release, leaving a tight window to develop and market products.

“Consumers want technology that is easy to install and understand that delivers a money saving result,” said Steve Jennings of PwC.

Consumers want to save money

“The connected market is developing and has some momentum and smart energy will have a key role to play in the future. Companies need to meet the needs of this market if they want to stay in the market, because those that do not give people what they want will likely disappear.”

The report adds that companies are not putting over how smart devices can make lives easier or save money.

The internet of things connects smart appliances by Bluetooth or wireless technology to apps on phones or computers.

Sensors can automatically control the devices or be managed remotely.