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59% Of Smart-Home Shoppers Care About Hacking Protection: Report

New research suggests security concerns remain a major roadblock to mass-market penetration of connected-home devices, while also offering new opportunities for add-on sales.

According to data released by market research consultancy Parks Associates, 59 percent of U.S. broadband households planning to purchase a smart-home product would be interested in a support service that could protect their device from hackers.

Such a security service was the most popular value-add option among smart-home shoppers queried, beating out tech support and DIY troubleshooting tools that each garnered interest from 45 percent of respondents.

The survey results suggest that the connected-home category requires a comprehensive basket of support services in addition to hardware, and should be more than simply a one-off sale.

“The entire consumer experience in the smart home is evolving into a curated experience,” observed Parks senior analyst Patrice Samuels. “Changes in the retail channel illustrate this shift, where smart-home products are moving from shelves and endcaps to ‘experience centers,’ which offer consultations, consumer education, cross-category product comparisons, and out-of-the box product demos.”

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The research was released in advance of Parks Associates’ connected-home conference, Connections, which will be held May 23-25 in San Francisco.

Added panelist Greg Kruczek, new ventures director at leading extended-service provider Asurion: “With a rapidly growing knowledge gap between connected-home products and consumers’ ability to seamlessly integrate the latest technology into their everyday lives, it is imperative that we provide the tools that allow them to fully tap their tech’s potential.”