Press release

Brands Must Alleviate Concerns around Technology in the Home to Win Consumer Trust

Sponsored by Businesswire

The smart home was intended to make consumers’ lives easier, safer, and
more enriching but despite substantial hype and industry investment,
smart home technology is yet to be fully adopted by consumers. To design
the smart home solutions that customers really want, brands need to
shift from a product focused approach to a human centric approach.

This is according to Accenture’s (NYSE: ACN) The
whose report “Putting
the Human First in the Future Home
” combines detailed global
qualitative research with quantitative research to look at consumers’
behaviors and routines and how the influence of emerging technology
impacts their identity and motivations and crucially, the
tensions that arise.

The Future Home is an Attitude — not a Technology

  • Home life is becoming more important for consumers: half of those
    surveyed (50 percent) now spend more time in their homes compared with
    five years ago while just one in eight (13 percent) say they spend
    less time in their homes now.
  • This differs across markets with two thirds (65 percent) of consumers
    in Brazil believing they now spend more time in their home — the
    highest level observed in the research. Meanwhile Chinese consumers
    are more likely to spend less time in their home than consumers in any
    other country at 43 percent.
  • When asking consumers how to describe their home 62 percent choose
    “comfortable/cozy” — this is similar across all markets with the
    exception of India where “clean” nudges ahead (51 percent versus 49
  • Meanwhile over seven in ten consumers (71 percent) use “relaxed” to
    describe how their home makes them feel. This is particularly true in
    the Nordics, where nearly four in five (78 percent) chose this

Claire Carroll, Portfolio Director at Accenture’s The Dock, said, “The
future home should be built around people first. There is a significant
opportunity to develop strong future home offerings that are built to
last and there are several untapped markets. But success requires brands
to think differently about product design, customer segmenting, and

With Emerging Tech come emerging tensions

The research also identified several tension polarities around
technology in the home, the strongest being that smart devices make us
feel more connected but also more isolated.

Across geographies and demographic groups, the trade-off between “easy”
and “lazy” is consistently won by “easy.” More than 70 percent of people
recognize that technology at home makes life easier, from preparing food
and ordering groceries online, to controlling their home climate and
environment. However, for nearly half of respondents (43 percent),
technology at home can also make them lazy, as there is an overwhelming
number of things that can be done without leaving the comfort of the

Consumers are more likely to agree with positive statements about
technology – over seven in ten (71 percent) agree that it makes their
lives easier and almost six in ten (57 percent) agree that it makes them
more connected and makes their home life more fun. However, almost half
of global consumers feel technology can be intrusive (46 percent). Half
of the respondents agree that it can be a barrier to social interaction
(50 percent) and this view is most prevalent in Europe (62 percent), the
US (66 percent) and Australia (65 percent) – in contrast, just 14
percent of Japanese consumers agree with this.

Claire continued, “Consumers need to rationalize the tensions created by
their relationship with technology, especially around dependency,
intrusiveness, and isolation. While many brands can sell smart-home
products that make people feel more connected, those brands that will
deliver real value in the future home are the ones that produce
connected products, which also allay their customers concerns about
feeling isolated in the modern technological environment.

The opportunity is here and now

As future home owners and potential smart-home customers, younger
generations are crucial markets. Conversely, many brand’s understanding
of this group’s anxieties around technology is limited. Meanwhile those
aged 65 and over emerge as an avenue for opportunity.

  • The youngest respondents are the most negative about the way
    technology is affecting their lives. Almost half (49 percent) of 18 to
    34-year olds worry that they are too dependent on technology, while 43
    percent of respondents in this age group are also fearful that smart
    devices in their homes know too much about them. Rationalizing the
    fears of the 18-34 consumer will be vital to the product design
    strategy of the future.
  • By contrast, the group most positive and trusting of technology are
    those aged 65 years and over — precisely the part of the market that
    many technology companies have been neglecting. This group see smart
    devices as making life easier (62 percent), more fun (51 per cent) and
    keeping them connected (51 percent). Their fears around the isolating
    effects of technology are lower than any other age group (53 percent)
    and just 31 percent of this sector perceive technology as making them
    lazy. Only a quarter (25 percent) of the respondents in this group are
    worried about the addictive nature of technology, the lowest across
    all age groups.

Claire concluded, “There is no single technological solution to the
future home – but to design smart home products that will have
longevity, companies need to better understand what’s happening in the
black box of their customers’ behavior in the home. This means
understanding customer attitudes throughout their various life stages,
what the idea of home actually means to them and getting a better
appreciation of their surprising behavior behind the front door.”

With people spending more time at home than ever before, brands need to
act now to better understand the opportunities. The multi-disciplinary
team at Accenture’s The Dock, working with Accenture Research and Fjord
analyzed the insights to develop eight mindsets that help explain
behavior in the future home. The full report can be read here.


The research was undertaken by Accenture’s The Dock and Accenture
, in partnership with Fjord,
Accenture Interactive’s design and innovation consultancy, between
November and December 2018. Over 6,000 people, in 13 countries (United
States, Brazil, United Kingdom, Sweden, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy,
Spain, China, India, Japan and Australia) were surveyed. Respondents
represented different age and demographic groups including single
people, couples and families with children.

The team also conducted two, week-long DScout studies with 40
participants in United States, United Kingdom and Germany between July
and August 2018. Using a contextual enquiry approach, participants
combined the use of video, photography and diary-style reportage to
gather an understanding of their approach to home life and their
behaviors, needs and relationships with technology at home.

About Accenture

Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a
broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital,
technology and operations. Combining unmatched experience and
specialized skills across more than 40 industries and all business
functions — underpinned by the world’s largest delivery network —
Accenture works at the intersection of business and technology to help
clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for their
stakeholders. With 477,000 people serving clients in more than 120
countries, Accenture drives innovation to improve the way the world
works and lives. Visit us at

The Dock is Accenture’s flagship R&D and Global Innovation Centre based
in Dublin, Ireland where design, business and technology come together
under one roof. The Dock is home to a diverse team of 300
creative problem-solvers made up of highly talented experts in design,
engineering, artificial intelligence and IoT. The multi-disciplinary
team at The Dock research, incubate, prototype and pilot digital and
emerging technologies together with clients and partners to pioneer new
ways to fulfill human needs using emerging technology. To learn more
follow us @AccentureDock
and visit