Recent announcements about smart home products, including thermostat, smart lock and smart speaker, signal a trend that is gradually forming, which is, smart homes are getting cheaper.
Nest, best known for its learning thermostat product, recently introduced a new model with a plastic-like design and a lower price tag of US$169. Its original flagship thermostat sells for US$250.
August also revealed its new smart lock product line. The new-generation Smart Lock comes with an improved battery life and security feature, while the price was cut from US$229 to US$149. Another premium model, Smart Lock Pro, offers more features and is sold with the Connect Wi-Fi Bridge for Apple HomeKit support for US$279.
Moreover, Amazon is the latest player in the market to join the price-cutting move. It debuted its 2nd-generation Echo speaker and cut the price from US$180 to US$99. Google is also expecting to launch a smaller Google Home that costs US$50.
In addition, the entry of IKEA in the smart home market marks a turning point. The Swedish company brought its affordable concept into smart home and sells smart light bulbs starting from US$12. While Philips Hue, a company known for smart lighting, sells a light bulb for US$30.
According to a survey published by accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) this February, 42% of the smart home non-users said that price is their biggest hesitation to buy a smart home device, while 23% were certain that they will not purchase because of the cost.
The survey indicates 81% of the respondents are aware of the smart home concept, but only 26% would like to implement a smart home device. 43% of those showing more interest in interacting with smart home devices had a household income of US$100,000 or more. The survey was conducted by interviewing 1,000 consumers online to find out their views towards smart home.
As more and more smart home products become more affordable, the general public may show a bigger interest to purchase smart gadgets and try out the future living concept.