Will 2017 Finally Be the Year of the Smart Home?

We’ve all heard of these so-called “smart houses,” fully automated homes that you can control remotely and entirely. The technology has been around for a few years, and yet there hasn’t been a huge market for them, despite the buzz they generated when they became a reality. Why is that? Brad Kozak at IHS Markit says it’s because consumers aren’t sure how best to use it. “It’s been a lot of fragmentation in the industry, a lot of confusion among consumers as to which devices are the best to go with. Is there longevity here? If they install a system tomorrow, will it be around in the next year?”

Source: Curb Energy

This makes sense because buying a home isn’t like buying a new cell phone. People need their homes to last, to work well for years to come, and not to become obsolete. However, all that is changing as the average consumer is learning that the technology can be upgraded and that working it is easy – or can be. 2016 saw a 64% increase in the sales of home tech devices, which now include helpers like Amazon’s Alexa. And analysts say that the number will continue to rise as companies are learning how to market their devices as easy and essential to potential consumers.

Source: CNET

However, built-in tech is a different story. Realtor Theresa Taylor says that while home buyers like new homes to come with better technology already installed, they don’t are if that’s not the case on older homes. “They’re not willing to pay a premium for it. If the house has it, that’s fine, but it’s nothing that’s on the top of their list.” This may just indicate how willing buyers are to customize their house: they’re willing to purchase the upgrades they’d like, and leave the ones they don’t want behind. Predictions indicate that in 2017 this market will explode, with 130 million smart home devices shipped this year!