Nearly three-quarters of homeowners said they want a self-adjusting thermostat, according to a new survey from Icontrol.
That finding makes smart thermostats the most coveted device, ranking slightly above home monitoring cameras, internet-connected door locks and automatically adjusting lights. Connected thermostats and home cameras are tied for the item consumers said they are most likely to buy in the next year.
Even so, security continues to drive the conversation and adoption around the smart-home space, according to the study. Icontrol is the underlying platform used by some of the biggest players in the business, including Comcast and ADT. The most recent survey polled about 1,600 households.
In the course of just one year, another factor is emerging as an enticing reason for people to invest in smart-home technologies, according to the survey. Nearly half of consumers listed entertainment as one of the top reasons to purchase a connected-home device, up from 29 percent in 2014.
The top reasons for the growing interest in connected-home devices varies among age groups, unsurprisingly. Older consumers are looking for cost savings, whereas those under 35 are looking for devices that allow for greater productivity and better work-life balance.
Another clear departure between age groups is where they will likely buy the technology and how much they will spend. Those under 45 said they’d likely spend a few thousand dollars, and are most likely go through a security company, technology company or home repair store.
But older folks aren’t looking to tech companies, such as Nest Labs, and instead would turn to security or cable service providers. While that may be good news for players like Comcast, those consumers are also more likely to spend less. For now, solar providers and utilities did not make the top of the list for any age group as the go-to for smart-home purchases.
The smart home is becoming more familiar and more desirable to consumers. Those who know someone with a connected-home device are about twice as likely as general consumers to say they’ll buy a similar device in the next 12 months.
Those figures contrast with the findings of a CEA survey released last fall that found the majority of broadband households don’t even know what smart-home services are. But with the entrance of Apple HomeKit and expanded offerings from Nest, along with educational pushes from security and cable devices, 2015 could be the tipping point for smart-home devices to become increasingly commonplace in average homes and not just futuristic fodder for CES displays.