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September 30, 2015

Smart Home devices disappoint and frustrate consumers

News: Smart home market stalling, equipment is not smart, unreliable and fails to deliver.

By Joao Lima

Early adopters of smart home equipment have had to ‘soldier on’ with poor equipment and report low satisfaction levels with everything from security cameras to smart light bulbs

A study, ‘What makes a smart home a happy home’, has found that growth in consumer adoption of smart homes solutions is falling short due to users’ distrust about the reliability of connected devices.

John Feland, Argus Insights CEO, told CBR: "This is due to the early adopters who have soldiered through the learning curve and can now enjoy the benefits of products, but overall delight remains rather low due to connectivity and reliability issues."

According to the research, the future of this market is dependent on how smart products can really be but the firm predicts a continued drop in demand.

The company surveyed 45,000 consumers worldwide to find that there is a slow improvement in satisfaction among home automation customers with smart light bulbs and security kits and hubs leading in ‘consumer delight’ with a score of 0.5 or higher out of 1.

Security cameras have been ranked as the greatest disappointment, falling short from 0.3. Thermostats, sensors, locks and bells, and energy monitors have all reached around 0.4.

Feland said: "In the near future, we predict a continued drop in demand until the industry can address the installation and reliability issues. While interest in the smart home market is clear, the user experience must become simplified to enable the typical consumer to install and use connected devices.

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"When the industry converges on a set of technology implementations that are largely immune to the wide diversity of networking skills possessed by consumers, we will see this market fulfil the promised growth."

He also said that most smart home devices "definitely expect too much of users at this point". Brands are promising a seamless, connected experience that make controlling various aspects of a home a simple task, but consumers are finding that installing and using connected devices is far from simple.

Feland said: "Manufacturers must address persistent concerns of connectivity and reliability to streamline the user experience and make technology work to improve the life of the user, not just for the sake of technological advancement."

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