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Smart Home Initiatives March On, but Who’s Going to Pay for this Stuff?

by William Ablondi | Mar 07, 2013

In 2012 activity continued in the Smart Home market in virtually all regions of the world. In Europe IFA Gigaset introduced its DECT ULE-based “Gigaset elements” sensor network at IFA. Swisscom launched its previously announced Quing Home automation system. UK smart home platform developer AlertMe announced its partnership with Essent, part of the multi-national RWE group, in launching E-Insight, a cloud-based “Smart Energy” service to Essent’s 2.4 million customers in the Netherlands.

Deutsche Telekom continued development of its Qivicon ecosystem; British Gas launched its Remote Heating Control and Safe and Secure services (also built on the AlertMe platform) and SFR launched its Home by SFR IP-based home security system.

In the US cable MSOs Bright House, Comcast, Cox and Time Warner initiated/continued their rollouts along with Verizon, Ingersoll Rand’s Nexia, ADT’s Pulse and Vivint, one of Alarm.com’s most prominent dealers (they have 5,000+).

At the 2013 CES event Technicolor demoed Qeo, Arrayent revealed its partnership with Whirlpool, Lowes’ showcased its growing ecosystem, ADT entered the remote health management market in partnership with IDEAL LIFE and AT&T emphasized its commitment to Digital Life at its developers’ conference and followed that up at Mobile World Congress with its announcement that more than 30 companies worldwide have asked to license Digital Life.   

This type of activity is a positive sign that the smart home market is developing, but it begs the question: “Who is interested in AND willing to pay for these capabilities?” Next up: “How much are those who are interested willing to pay?” Strategy Analytics launched a survey in 4Q 2012 to seek answers to these questions and examine the attitudes and behaviors of those consumers who have already acquired smart home solutions, as well as, those indicating an interest in and willingness to pay for them.

It’s All in the Attitude

More than 6,500 consumers in France, Germany, Italy, the UK and US were asked to rate their agreement to a series of statements characterizing their attitudes and behaviors likely to influence use and/or adoption of selected smart home systems and services. Respondents were then asked if they had a variety of smart home capabilities and/or services from professionally monitored security to remote digital healthcare services and energy management services.

If they did not have the capabilities or services, they were asked how interested they would be in acquiring them if free; those most interested were then asked what is the most they would be willing to pay if these were paid-for services.

Several analyses were prepared from the results and the first, an overview of results was published in Smart Home Systems: Consumer Attitudes and Adoption.

We didn’t stop there. We prepared a segment segmentation analysis on the results …one for Europe and separately for the US (we do have our differences  J).  

Bottom Line: Impressers (those whose lifestyle impresses others) and Affluent Nesters (higher income households that invest in improving their homes) are the largest groups of early adopters and Convenience Seekers (young males willing to pay for convenience) show high interest and willingness to pay.

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