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Americans want a smart home because they are anxious, forgetful and couch potatoes

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Seven in ten Americans want a smart home so they can turn on lights, close garage doors and lock their back door from their bed according to survey data released Wednesday by Lowe’s. The other primary reason they want a smart home is because they want security cameras and monitoring, and 21 percent of them are willing to pay a monthly fee in order to get it. Half would rather get a DIY product.


While the data isn’t surprising, it’s a stark reminder that Silicon Valley’s envisioned smart home that anticipates your needs and offers proactive energy savings or even insights into your personal habits isn’t on the radars of mainstream America. [company]Lowe’s[/company], which makes a DIY smart home hub system called Iris, surveyed 2,088 people this summer to ask about what they want in a smart home (security at 50 percent followed by energy monitoring) and how cost factors into the decision to buy.

Surprisingly, they also found that while 24 percent of people older than 65 ranked ease of use as important to them in such a system, in the younger crowd (18-64) only 11 percent cared about that. Trust me, younger crowd, you’re going to want to revise that number up. Spending an hour on your smart home each week tweaking or just thinking about what to automate next isn’t exactly as riveting as Game of Thrones.

And finally, the Lowe’s survey also asked this:


Personally, I’m surprised people didn’t go for the flying car.

5 Responses to “Americans want a smart home because they are anxious, forgetful and couch potatoes”

  1. Nicholas Paredes

    This sounds very much like what I stated in a comment yesterday. We need to design connected products that meet the emotional needs of customers. They are not interested in the level of control ultimately possible. Nor is the technology at a point where it can seamlessly offer this intelligence.

    Design 101 is understanding the customer through qualitative research. Security, cost savings, reliability, and convenience are powerful needs based on powerful emotions. If only more products represented these needs over technological solutions.

  2. Marc Canter

    Do we really think that’s it?

    All a Smarthome is destined for is turning lights on and off?

    Perhaps the reason why the ideas are so lame and there’s a severe disconnect between the creators (Silicon Valley, CableCos, Startups) and the marketplace – i sthat programming the IoT is so difficult and the truly creative people are locked out by the complexity required to CREATE the solutions and fun?

    Seriously – to create a contextually aware App and deploy it into the IoT requires: BigData, Intelligence, mobile, Internet, media AND design expertise and talent?

    Hmmm – I can head the sound of thundering hordes of authors stampeding towards an authoring environment that enables THEM to create all the things we can’t even imagine – with ThingFace!

    Friend to all – competitor to no one.


    And a good morning 2 U

    • Fair enough, although I think getting a sense of how mainstream America views this stuff is somewhat interesting. The problem is you’d not want to build an innovative product aiming for them, because you can’t survey people about something they haven’t thought of yet :)