Many smart home users still find DIY products difficult to manage

Many smart home users still find DIY products difficult to manage
Adoption of do-it-yourself (DIY) devices has increased significantly in recent years, but Parks Associates finds consumers continue to experience frustration over problems during installation, setup and configuration.
 
“16% of connected entertainment device owners and 28% of smart home device owners report the setup process as being difficult or very difficult. Also, one in five consumers who found the smart home device process ‘very difficult’ returned the device,” Parks Associates says in a report developed for Calix, a provider of cloud and software platforms to deliver access networks and smart premises systems.
 
When DIY consumers are asked how they would like to install future devices (regardless of the cost involved), 41% indicate they would prefer some form of technical assistance. “This consumer preference points the way toward demand for professional services that can deliver convenience and technical support,” Parks Associates says.
 
Difficulty in connecting devices to the router has remained the leading issue facing smart home device customers for the past two years. “The lack of a carrier-grade, whole-home managed Wi-Fi solution contributes to consumer perceptions of poor internet service, which can act as a barrier to adoption of new connected services and potentially drive customer churn,” the report says.
 
Solid, reliable Wi-Fi and network security are building blocks for future IoT offerings and can serve as key differentiators from other smart home services. Also, consumers expect their network provider to be best able to address their network security.

Network cameras

New DIY security systems with optional monitoring, video recording and storage services as well as flexible contract options are positioned to expand into the 70% of households that do not have a security system, Parks Associates says.
 
Owners of DIY and professionally installed systems show strong interest in add-on services such as cybersecurity, personal emergency response services (PERS), vehicle monitoring and smart tag tracking.
 
Networked cameras are increasingly popular for monitoring children, pets and home services such as nannies, housekeepers and delivery personnel. Peace of mind or “soft” security use cases have driven interest in cloud video storage services among consumers who own networked cameras.
 
Parks Associates also finds more than three-quarters of consumers have concerns about unauthorized access of their personal data. Almost one-half of US broadband households are “very concerned” about the hacking of their devices and the historical data on them.

Opportunity for the industry 

Historically, security and safety have generated the most compelling interest among all uses. By providing home controls, security providers have collected growing monthly recurring revenues in recent years. New subscribers pay an average of US$55 per month.
 
With the rise of the Internet of Things in the residential sector, many players across verticals are making strong moves to become the trusted advisor in the connected home market.
 
Healthcare is a vertical that has much potential. “Unlike the highly competitive security segment, independent living and aging-in-place solutions are still in their infancy, with no dominant player capturing the market,” the report says, adding that service providers may find more opportunities with these services.


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