And the winning emerging technology is … smart homes.
New research from GfK finds that half of U.S. consumers think smart-home technology will have a major impact on their lives -- more so than wearables, cloud computing or mobile payment systems. According to the survey (which asked consumers to choose among 11 leading-edge technologies about their importance on people’s lives) 51% of American consumers selected smart home technologies, compared with 50% for mobile payments (50%), wearables (42%) and cloud computing (41%).
“[Smart Home technology] has the potential to touch across almost any category,” Rob Barrish, GfK’s senior vice president for technology in North America, tells Marketing Daily. “There’s a whole range of possible use-cases and hubs within the home.”
For the U.S. consumers, “energy and lighting” holds the greatest appeal for consumers (55%), as does “security and control” (54%). “Entertainment and connectivity” was third (50%) and health (45%) and smart appliances (42%) rounded out the list.
Just a little over a third of consumers (37%) said they were concerned about high costs of the products, while a quarter (26%) were concerned about privacy. (Another quarter [25%] of consumers, however, said they saw no barriers at all.) More than half of U.S. consumers said they preferred to have a single vendor for their smart home technologies, while only 21% said they would rather have multiple suppliers.
“With price standing out as the top barrier to adoption, [companies] will need to focus on marketing that demonstrates not only that their product solves a problem, but also that it carries emotional appeal,” Barrish says. “It’s got to be a product that’s ‘plug-and-play’ and will recognize the hub that’s within the home.”