Technology is meant to make people’s lives easier. When it comes to devices in a Smart Home, users are finding value only beyond several hurdles to adoption. A Smart Home is made up of an ecosystem of various devices and the apps that control them, and companies are fighting to deliver the best all-around experience.
In the quest for a quality Smart Home experience, large service providers are failing to delight. Despite their recognizable branding and existing presence in people’s homes, companies like AT&T Digital Life and Comcast are not delivering on the promise of a smart home. Where incumbent home-security companies are failing, brands like Vivint and Honeywell are winning over consumers with high performing apps.
Gaps in consumer perception between devices and apps demonstrate a break in the experience. While Nest has one of the top-rated thermostats on the market, consumers rate their app in the middle of the pack. Phillips Hue sees one of the largest gaps, with consistent frustration reported largely due to connectivity issues. But, consumers report high delight for their Smart Light Bulbs. According to the consistency in consumer disappointment for their app, it seems that Philips has done little in the past 12 months to improve the experience. This could be one of the reasons that demand for Smart Lighting has dropped by over 25% over the prior year.
Negative feedback for Smart Home apps is stemming from issues with connectivity stability, crashing, etc. While consumers expect the reliability of standard home products, they experience a buggy, lagging interface, and this is impacting overall adoption for the Smart Home. Once these issues are addressed, which will likely happen this year given the Smart Home showing at CES this year, the focus of the Smart Home will likely shift from home control to home intelligence, bringing with it a new set of challenges.
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Dr. John Feland is the CEO of Argus Insights, anew type of market intelligence company, founded by tech industry veterans seeking to connect the dots between technology innovation and consumer adoption. Argus Insights sits between traditional research firms and social analytics companies to provide focused and actionable analysis on where consumers are taking the market, who is winning and why. John holds an S.B. in Mechanical Engineering from MIT, an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University, and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University. An expert in consumer response to technology, John is a frequent speaker.