Smart Home Research Group – how can we build awareness amongst consumers?

On the 30th June an initial meeting of the Smart Home Research Group (SHRG) in Paris brought together Smart Home Associations from across Europe and representatives from retail, manufacturers and service providers.

This group is focused on promoting research that will help vendors and retailers track the embryonic Smart Homes market.

It aims to:

  • Create an exchange between leading industry players
  • Define the market and successful market offerings
  • Remove barriers to growth
  • Identify different channels to market (retail, etail, telcos)
  • Educate the consumer

Sales of Smart Home products are still struggling, so the first question posed by the group was what is needed to affect a breakthrough. Building awareness amongst consumers is core to the answer and this has many different strands. Vendors should consider:

  • Producing publicity materials which alert the consumer to the possibilities of Smart Home
  • Driving low-cost solutions such as starter kits at around €300, as a member study has demonstrated that 80% of those who buy such a kit will make further related purchases
  • Offering choice and interoperability of brands to consumers, meeting one of their key requirements
  • Being cleverer at selling the uses rather than the technology – people want comfort, convenience, security and opportunities to save money

Stephen Pattenden, the secretary of the London based SH&BA put it succinctly:

“We must understand the needs and wants of the consumer, acknowledging that, apart from early adopters, most have no idea of the benefits of home systems in the Smart Home. I think this area requires deep thought since the population under investigation simply doesn’t understand the opportunities and benefits. This work could be broken down into:
a. Basic needs for comfort, security, wellbeing (where security includes both physical and cyber considerations)
b. The smarter options such as thermostats and the use of smart things
c. The needs for greater efficiency in the house, managing energy, optimising time of use, smart metering, CO2, etc
d. The optimisation of health and well-being systems in the house allowing prediction of impending conditions as well as telehealth and telecare
e. The national and regional differences in consumer expectations”

by AS

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Filed under Connectivity, Home automation, Smart Technology

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