Future of smart home positive, says GfK

More than half (58 per cent) of consumers plan to purchase a smart-home product in the next two years.

This was just one finding from researcher GfK in a global survey of consumer attitudes to the smart home. It polled 7,000 consumers across the UK, Germany, Brazil, China, Japan, South Korea and the USA – of these, 17 per cent were early tech-savvy adopters.

Of these early adopters, almost three-quarters (74 per cent) said they found the smart home extremely or very appealing and relevant to their daily lives, compared with 40 per cent of other consumers.

GfK believes that early adopters are likely to lead the mass market in future technology trends.

Three-quarters of early adopters expect smart technology to impact their lives ahead of other technology trends, compared with half of consumers globally. More than half of them said they already owned a smart home device, compared with one quarter of other consumers.

Asked which smart products they were most likely to purchase in the near future, early adopters highlighted smart lighting/lamps (37 per cent), smart light controls (37 per cent) and smart refrigerators (35 per cent) as the top products they plan to purchase. These were closely followed by smart washing machines and robot vacuum cleaners, both at 34 per cent.

When it came to operating these devices, the majority of early adopters (88 per cent) expected them to communicate with each other, regardless of being made by different manufacturers.

The survey results indicated that the biggest barriers to smart products and appliances are knowledge and relevance. Meaning that consumers need to understand how the smart home concept works in practice and how it will enhance their everyday lives.