GfK Finds 76% of Brits Would Like a Smarter Home

As life becomes more ‘connected’, latest consumer research from GfK reveals that people’s appetite for managing their homes – including h...

As life becomes more connected’, latest consumer research from GfK reveals that people’s appetite for managing their homes – including heating, security, entertainment systems and even household appliances – appeals to more than three quarters (76 percent) of people. But with only one third (35 percent) willing to pay for the cost of connecting their houses, will we see Britons living in smart homes any time soon? Which capabilities of the smart home appeal most? GfK’s research shows: At 84 percent, the most appealing function is energy meters connected to the grid to help control costs. 28 percent are willing to pay for this 67 percent were attracted to a remote controlled home. Like something from science fiction, this smart home unlocks the door as you arrive and has everything ready for you – the lighting is on, the radio is playing, the oven is heating ready to cook your dinner, the bath is run etc. At 51 percent more people are prepared to pay for this smartphone/wearable device controlled luxury (rising to 73 percent of 18-24s) 67 percent also find having their TV at the centre of a home network attractive. Here the TV acts as an information hub, receiving content from other devices including readings smart meters and healthcare information as well as entertainment content. 38 percent are willing to pay 64 percent liked the concept of home health monitoring, with personal data on heart conditions or blood sugar levels transferred directly to healthcare professionals. Four in 10 (39 percent) are willing to pay. Will people pay to make their homes smarter? Appetite for the benefits of the smart home is highest amongst younger age groups, reaching 90 percent of 18-24 year olds and 86 percent of 25-44 year olds. Interest drops off slightly as people age, down to 56 percent for those aged 55 years and over. But at over half of this age group, that’s a very strong demand for the smart home. The only slight snag at present is that demand isn’t reflected in willingness to pay - just over one third (35 percent) of people would invest to make their home smarter. Around half of those aged 18-34 are prepared to pay (49 percent of 18-24 and 52 percent of 25-34s), falling to one in five (21 percent) of those aged 54 years and over. Generation Rent’ is most likely to want a smart home – but tenants won’t invest in conversion Although the appeal for the smart home is greatest amongst 18-34 year olds, this group is often referred to Generation Rent’ as just three in 10 (31 percent) of those actually own their own property**. The research shows a mismatch of desire and feasibility, with younger generations unlikely to be able to or want to transform their rented properties into a smart home. This will have a marked impact on the speed of conversion into smart homes. Anne Giulianotti, UK Technology Research Director at GfK: “There’s no question people find the concept of a smart home appealing, from controlling appliances, utilities and entertainment systems to managing bills, to more personal benefits like home health monitoring. The challenge is that the appeal is far the highest with younger people, the majority of whom don’t own their own homes, so won’t see the return from investing in converting a rental property. To attract the slightly more resistant, more mature home owning group will require clearer communications of the benefits tailored to this audience.”

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