New research shows European interest in smart home solutions

A study of 6,000 Europeans by the “Smart Home Liga” has shown that Europeans are embracing the smart home and view it in a positive light, with around two thirds describing themselves as comfortable with the idea of living in a connected home, although fewer than a third are actually using smart home products.

According to the study, this increased interest in smart home solutions will boost the market with 66% of Europeans saying that they would invest in a solution to make time-consuming household tasks easier. This was even more prevalent in respondents aged between 20 and 40, meaning manufacturers should target their solutions at that demographic. 

Although there is a keen interest amongst Europeans in smart home products, 71% still do not use any. Does this mean the technology does not meet the consumer’s actual needs? Or is it just too expensive? 

Interestingly though, the survey also shows that 37% of Europeans plan to buy a smart home product in the next 12 months while 68% of those who already owned one wish to acquire a second. This indicates that once a consumer is convinced to buy a smart home product, they realise the added value and benefits the products have on their lives. 

An interesting finding from the study shows that 40% of those surveyed prefer to use a smartphone app to control their home products, and 28% prefer using voice control, showing a growth in this voice integration. 

“There is no doubt that voice control will be part of the future,” commented Ulrich Grote, chairman of the ULE Alliance. “After all, for many smart home users, it’s about maximum convenience and ease of use.”

Grote also highlighted the importance of interoperability to ensure products can be combined easily: “The age of expensive standalone solutions is over,” he said. 

With a similar view, George Yianni, head of technology at Philips Hue said: “The smart home needs to be open and simple to fit consumer’s needs. That’s why we always focused on our open system and on working with as many partners as possible.”

Dave Ward, European product director at Ring, encourages manufacturers to concentrate on what customers want and need rather than what is technically possible. He explained: “People want a smart home that provides them with a positive experience, with products and services that help make their everyday life more convenient, more efficient and more safe. They want to see a true benefit, something that sovles an issue, rather than simply adding technology to their home.”

By changing approach and following suggestions such as these, it could help manufacturers to win over new customers thus adding to the numbers and growing the smart home industry. 

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