Yale’s David Herbert tells us why the future of the home is linked directly to staying secure
The leading science fiction writer William Gibson said “the future is already here…it’s just not very evenly distributed” and this is a great way of looking at the security of the connected home.
Consumer awareness of the Smart Home or connected home is high, with 57 percent of UK adults showing a good level of understanding of the primary features and benefits Smart Home technologies can bring. One significant variable is the timescale for Smart Home technologies to be in the majority of UK homes, with some expecting it will be in the next 5 years and others thinking it will take 50 years or longer.
These are the classic signs of an immature market, where most consumers have little direct experience of a smart home in action but they are open to trying the experience. Assuming the Smart Home sector can provide the systems and products that truly deliver the experience consumers are anticipating, then market adoption should scale rapidly.
According to a recent survey conducted by Yale, security has been identified as the second most important of five key drivers for the connected home, after Smart Energy.
It’s likely that the customer journey will start with either smart energy or security products but, once installed and the experience of having ‘smart’ features is enjoyed, the next step will be for the consumer to expand their system by adding more features. This means the total Smart Home may arrive step by step, rather than as a complete installation.
Barriers to adoption
The biggest potential barrier to growth in the smart home market is consumer concern that the technology will be too complicated; they won’t be able to understand or use all the features; and that the technology will go wrong and their house will stop working. There is also a strong concern about their home being ‘hacked’, their movements being tracked or having data stolen.
These concerns highlight the importance of manufacturers paying close attention to the user experience and making sure systems and products are totally reliable, trouble free and with excellent customer service back up.
It also means trust and reassurance in the system and product supplier will be vital, as it will be the brands with the most trust, rather than the ‘hottest’ technology, that will win. This was very clearly revealed when consumers were asked to name the leading brands in Smart Home Security, where Yale (18 percent) ranked much higher than Apple (11 percent), Google (8 percent) or Samsung (8 percent).
The key is in the word ‘security’, clearly the other brands are seen as leaders in the Smart Home but, in security, consumers instinctively turned to a recognised and trusted brand, with a long and proven pedigree in home security.
In summary, the UK Smart Home is about to emerge from the ‘early adopter’ stage, where the technology appeals to just enthusiasts and pioneers, and is poised for growth over several years before reaching a long period of market maturity.
Yale’s Smart Living range is available in a variety of options to suit all consumer needs. from standalone products, to a complete home security system, built around an intelligent smart security hub, which integrates with a wide range of modular accessories. If homeowners have already invested in a leading smart home system network, Yale’s standalone modular products easily integrate with other system providers, so homeowners can be assured they have the very best protection.
David Herbert is business development director at Yale
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