Many consumers who own or plan to buy a smart watch will use it to control smart-home devices, a Parks Associates survey found.
More than one in five U.S. broadband households that own or plan to buy a smart watch intend to use this device to control such home-automation devices as lights, garage doors, thermostats and the like, Parks said. Almost 20 home-automation suppliers have created Apple Watch apps, the company noted.
“The accessibility of a smart watch makes it a natural fit as a remote control for smart home features such as turning on lights remotely, closing garage doors, and adjusting thermostat settings,” said Harry Wang, Parks mobile and health products research director. The extra convenience that wearables offer will grow when “voice-control APIs become more capable and intelligent,” he added.
“A close relationship will develop down the road between wearable device makers and successful smart home device makers, app developers, and platform providers,” Wang said.
Home automation suppliers, however, must contend with challenges unique to smart watches, including relatively low processing power and small screen size he said. That “makes user interaction difficult for setting up complex scenarios and work flows,” he explained.
Separately, Parks also found that consumers with smart-home systems are controlling them frequently from their smartphones, tablets or computers.
More than 80 percent of smartphone/tablet users who own at least one smart-home device have downloaded mobile apps for these devices, Parks said. And almost 50 percent of U.S. broadband households with a smart garage-door opener use a smartphone, tablet or computer to control the opener daily or almost every day.