In what is said to be the first published survey to create a picture of the new IoT marketplace, Essence, a provider of IoT, cloud-based connected-living solutions, recently asked consumers in the United States and Europe to share their priorities for IoT-based smart home management solutions. Security came out as the most looked-for application.
During the first six months of 2015, Essence, together with Strategy Analytics, a leading research firm in the field of the connected home, conducted an in-depth study of consumer preferences and practices relating to new smart home products and services. This study produced fascinating insights that will serve Essence and its partners well into the general adoption years of this nascent market.
The primary issue for service providers considering entering the smart home market is the extent to which consumers are willing to pay for various smart home services. Therefore, Essence dedicated much of its survey to discovering what motivates end-users in various regions and what they value as most important for smart home functionality.
Security as the primary function in a smart home system is one area in which Americans and Europeans are in full agreement. Intrusion protection is of paramount importance, especially with regard to both traditional alarms and the system’s ability to notify the homeowner and law enforcement and/or a central monitoring system of a breach.
The majority of those surveyed expressed willingness to pay for a service based on remote security monitoring, both in terms of one-off equipment payment and ongoing monthly services. Europeans are willing to pay 50% more for start-up hardware costs than U.S. consumers. Importantly, both regions would pay monthly fees for an IoT-based home management solution controllable from any device or location.
Following security, Americans showed great interest in fire safety and convenience. The second most critical feature for Europeans in a home management solution is functionality that focuses directly on energy cost savings, such as being able to remotely or automatically turn off lights and manage HVAC systems.
“The survey reveals the consumer motivations and demands that will drive our partners’ success,” said Dr. Haim Amir, Essence founder & CEO. “By helping them to understand their customers’ concerns, they will be able to use Essence’s technology to tailor their products and services to deliver exactly what their customers want.”
Bill Ablondi, director of the Strategy Analytics Smart Home Strategies (SHS) advisory, who was the lead analyst for the project, said, “The study we conducted with Essence brings important actionable data at a time where there is very little understanding in the market as to what the consumer values most. We have managed to identify how a service provider can attain success with a clear proposition with the right go-to-market strategy.”
Essence’s flagship product, WeR@HomeTM, provides real-time, complete home management across all devices and locations, allowing for remote control of and access to security, safety, HVAC, and other home systems. The self-monitoring, DIY system is expandable and modular, fitting any home environment. It offers remote maintenance and configuration, and any Z-wave compatible device can be added quickly and easily.
WeR@HomeTM is available around the world from security service providers including G4S and communications providers like Telecom Italia. The system quickly and easily integrates into the service provider’s infrastructure, and its remote software management and DIY installation accelerates time to market with minimal investment in support staff.
“Smartphone users are the key to M2M/IoT adoption; they already manage their lives on mobile. This is particularly true when it comes to managing one’s home,” continued Dr. Amir. “Essence’s IoT solutions provide all the features consumers in the U.S. and E.U. markets demand – and our clients can provide.”