Although the “connected home” concept has drawn considerable attention in recent years, homeowners don't seem to be ready for widespread adoption just yet. In fact, interest in whole-home control among consumers has not increased in the United States since 2005, says CABA's Connected Home Research Council in its recent “2008 State of The Connected Home Market Study.” According to the report, only about 5% of mass market consumers have a strong interest in using “technology” for home “automation” or “control.” However, a substantial minority suggest they would use home control products that offer compelling benefits, are simple to operate, and are compatible with their lifestyles. While they don't seem to be overly interested in the general idea of using technology for home management, the study indicates that mass market consumers continue to be interested in specific products, especially those used for home security, home energy management, household communication, and paying bills.

Confirming this trend, security systems, programmable thermostats, and built-in high-speed Internet are found in more than half of all homes built in the year 2000 or later. By contrast, energy monitoring/control and lighting control are included in one-fifth or fewer residences built in 2000 or later. To make home control and automation appealing to mass market consumers, electrical contractors should offer easy-to-understand products with discrete functionality that can be linked to a centralized network, ultimately evolving their customers into a connected home experience.

Connected Home Research ©2008 Internet Home Alliance Research Council, Inc. All rights reserved.