Right now, many consumers are attracted to the direct benefits of a connected device. No products bring direct benefits as security products do, making home security one of the core features of the smart home that is driving adoption.
A basic home security system comprises video, sensors and 24-hour alarm monitoring. When an alarm goes off, the police will show up; when there is a fire, firefighters come to put it out. Two high-growth add-ons to those services are video monitoring and energy management, said Jay Kenny, VP of Marketing at Alarm.com.
Video monitoring is one of the most important components in a modern home security system. _More and more people are adding video cameras to both the outside and inside of their homes. Being able to stream real-time video to a mobile phone is really interesting to people, both from a security perspective and an awareness perspective,î Kenny said. _If you have kids, its nice to know that they are safe at home and are doing the right things. If you have pets, you also want to know that they are safe and are having fun. Both the awareness and security aspect of the video are really important.î
Even something as simple as a smartphone- controlled garage door opener can bring significant convenience and peace of mind to homeowners. Since 70 percent of Americans enter their home via the garage door, it is not only important to know the status of that entry point, it is also convenient to have the ability to check that status when a homeowner has driven 10 minutes away from home and worries that the door is still open, said, Bob Dahlberg, VP of Business Development at Arrayent. Arrayents platform powers the home appliances of numerous well-known manufacturers.
Speading out from security
Security is the primary service that consumers value and are willing to pay for, but Alarm.com is also seeing it drive a lot of adoption in thermostats and lighting.
According to Parks Associates, nearly two thirds of US consumers are interested in buying a smart thermostat. Dahlberg agrees: _This industry has tipped. If you are in the thermostat business and you don’t have a connected thermostat strategy, you are going out of business.î
As for lighting, _it is the lowest cost way to impact the home environment. LED bulbs are getting lower and lower cost every day, getting close to compact fluorescents. ZigBee vendors are quoting ZigBee SoCs at less than $1 in 2015,î Dahlberg said. _The combination of LED and connectivity means lighting control (on, off, dim) will be very easy to install.î
Low cost is important because while there are vertical opportunities for all connected products, the near-term value of smart appliances is all around a collection of small conveniences; no single feature alone is compelling in its own right, Dahlberg continued.
UniKeys VP of Sales and Marketing Dirk Wyckoff thinks it is also crucial for the smart home that devices can stand on their own when integrating devices into a single intelligent system. _For a product to have mass appeal, the products value proposition to the consumer must be singular in nature, meaning it must stand on its own without necessary integration into a larger system that is typically reserved for services with monthly fees. The product must be simple and elegant in both interface and appearance.î UniKey developed the technology behind the popular smart lock Kwikset Kevo.
A home full of devices that can interact with each other for the benefit of the user is indeed attractive. The concept of energy management has become popularÜnot just controlling appliances via a mobile app, but the integration of those appliances with the rest of the home, Kenny said. _For example, when I arm my alarm system, the thermostat automatically adjusts. If I leave my backdoor open by mistake, I can have the system adjust to that, too.î