Are consumers abandoning the smart home?

June 17, 2015, 2:25 PM UTC
GE Quirky Norm lifestyle
The GE-Quirky "Norm," a connected thermostat.
Courtesy: Quirky

Consumer demand for connected home products has taken a dive, falling by 15% over the last year with a steep drop in the last few months, according to data from Argus Insights. The company, which measures intangibles such as “buzz” and “positive sentiment”, has a track record for accurately predicting sales of devices and trends related to usage.

The report from Argus puts the blame on the devices and inin manufacturers, noting that many connected devices are still a challenge to connect and use. The report also says that while early adopters may have bought into DIY home automation systems, the average consumer isn’t sold, meaning that companies that want to get into this space need to offer different features and improve their products to attract the next level of consumers. Otherwise, all that has happened is that home automation has moved from the rich to the nerdy.

Argus Insights

The drop off in interest is seen across all of the different device classes, from sensors to security cameras, and when people discuss the Internet of things on social networks, wearables is the most common topic followed by big data. Home automation trades and the connected car vie for last place in social media mentions each month. A lot of that might be the recent launch and excitement around the Apple Watch combined with the ubiquity of the phrase big data, but these are sobering insights for an industry that is still finding its footing.