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With technology, everything is becoming smart and, the trend of smart homes is also setting in in the Netherlands, with the launch of Google Home, Amazon Alexa, and Apple Homekit soon. Despite the popularity of smart home in the media, the adoption of this concept appears to have dropped.
In July 2018, renowned research firm GfK carried out their Smart Home Monitor for the fourth consecutive time recording the trends over 4 years. The study reveals the current trends in smart home adoption and the top barriers that remain a challenge. The research involved 1,001 Dutch respondents were questioned in the 18+ age group.
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Smart Home trends in the Netherlands
According to the study, the awareness of this concept is highest among people under 50 years of age. In the age group of 50 to 64, at least 25% people are familiar with this concept. Sadly, despite the increased awareness, the interest in adopting this concept is declining in the Netherlands. This year, less than 50% of the people claim to be interested or very interested in this trend. This is a decline from that of the last year as 59% were interested in 2017.
Going by the GfK research, the benefits associated with smart home solutions for the Dutch consumers are the ability to save energy and the convenience of being able to control your devices from anywhere. And, the barriers preventing people from adopting the trend are cost and privacy issues. It goes on stating that one-third of the Dutch consumers like the idea of operating devices with their voice.
Barriers to smart home solutions
As the interest among consumers has dropped, we at Silicon Canals come up with the barriers involved in the adoption of Smart Home solutions.
#1 Cost remains a prominent barriers
Cost remains to be a major barrier as 40% of people feel that it is expensive to adopt to smart home solutions. However, this is down from that of 2017 as it was assessed to be 51% back then. Smart home adoption involves buying multiple wireless products. This cost outweighs the installation cost of the existing wired system. Homeowners need to invest hundreds or thousands of euros into technology to adopt to this trend.
#2 Privacy concerns prevail
Cybersecurity is one of the most debated topics right now. With the increase in hacking incidents, concerns regarding privacy have raised drastically. After all, when you bring devices with network access and cameras into your home, you will pave way for potential security issues unknowingly. Eventually, one-third of people aren’t favoring the adoption of smart home solutions citing privacy concerns as a reason.
Typically, interoperability issues arise in new markets when the vendors are typing to establish their products. In such a scenario, consumers will have to purchase several products from different vendors. Of these, very few devices can interact with one another seamlessly. Eventually, the concept of a fully integrated smart home is yet to be made feasible.
Finally, complexity should be ignored. There should be zero complexity as technology should be meant to address the persistent pain points of consumers. The smart home products shouldn’t add a new layer of complexity to the lives of the consumers. By complexity, we mean the increasing number of technical issues with smart home devices such as networked cameras, door locks, etc.
To conclude, startups and scale-ups from the Benelux operating in the smart home space, namely Homey, Olisto, and Philips Hue, should be wary of these results. It’s up to them and the retailers to break these barriers.
Smart home automation image by Shutterstock
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