Who better to talk about homes than the Property Brothers and what better place to discuss smart home technology than at CES? The HGTV stars, Jonathan and Drew Scott, during a session on Thursday, expect the next wave of smart home technology to be focused on energy efficiency, smart kitchen, connected outdoor space and advanced in-home entertainment systems, following the initial demand for home security.
“Ways to make homes more efficient is the trend… Anytime we don’t need access to something we turn it off,” said Jonathan, noting that there has definitely been an increase in demand for energy monitoring services. With the expansion of smart home services, the market is fragmented with different operating systems. No matter what the platform the service is based on, offering the ability to control everything from mobile devices is critical, Drew said. “Make sure all the apps are user friendly… Make sure you are not bombarding consumers with features they don’t use,” he said. In general, he said homeowners are looking for smart technology that increases their convenience, comfort and connection, while decreasing cost. While additional smart home services are taking off, basic security offerings, such as cameras and smart doors and garages, are “still the biggest thing,” Jonathan said.
Meanwhile, HGTV parent Scripps Networks’ own survey found the need for safety and comfort is the number one reason consumers adopt smart home technology, said John Dailey, svp of corporate sales. The survey also found that consumers considered kitchen as the top spot to add smart tech. Looking at different demos, millennials are the most likely to add smart home goodies to their homes. In addition, energy monitoring and light automation are the most desired smart home projects, said Dailey. Comparing different demands across age groups, Scripps found that the “standout benefits” of smart home technology for millennials are making home convenient for daily tasks and “making home work for me and my family,” Dailey said. For Gen Xers, they expect smart technology to make their home a place where family members can learn and grow. For boomers, it’s all about adding value to the home.