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Parks: Home-Automation Awareness Low

Dallas – Sixty-two percent of broadband-connected households in the U.S. are unfamiliar with smart home products, almost 70 percent don’t know where to buy them, and only 20 percent intend to buy one or more smart-home devices in the next 12 months, a Parks Associates/CEA survey found.

Supplier success in the market will be determined by suppliers’ ability to promote their products and their sales channels, Parks said. To increase adoption, the research and consulting company recommends companies embrace open platforms, create educational marketing campaigns to raise awareness and open new consumer channels for buying smart-home solutions.

The addition of home-automation products in Walmart and Target stores will likely help increase awareness. Target is testing home-automation products in about 500 of its roughly 1,800 stores, and Walmart is rolling out home-automation displays in 1,700 stores.

 “Today, smart home service providers control almost every aspect of their offerings while consumers make only one choice: the service provider,” said Parks Associates CEO/founder Tricia Parks. “Deploying open solutions that give consumers a degree of control over their ecosystem represents a major competitive element and an opportunity to increase revenue and business opportunities for software, hardware, and service players.” However, she continued, “consumers have to know where to find these devices, so these companies also need better promotion of their sales channels.”
The survey also found that:

— only 13 percent of U.S. broadband households own at least one smart home device;

— 48 percent of consumers who own a smart-home device are under 35 years old;

— 16 percent of all U.S. broadband households intend to purchase smart lights in the next 12 months, and;

— 16 percent intend to purchase a smart programmable thermostat.

In an accompanying report, Parks said U.S. sales of smart-home devices will exceed 20 million units by the end of 2014 and will increase to almost 36 million units by 2017.

Survey analysis is available at