A recent webinar by Parks Associates summarized in SDM magazine on Top 10 Smart Home Trends tells us a lot about how fast the home automation industry is taking off and where it's headed.
Security system suppliers must deliver products that are:
Compatible with existing hardware (especially smartphones)
Simple to set up
Able to smoothly integrate into the Millennial lifestyle
Many companies that are churning out these devices are focusing on making proprietary hardware as cheaply as possible in order to trap customers in their ecosystem. By the time the customer eventually realizes that, it's often too late.
When an excited customer receives his or her long-awaited box containing their DIY home security system, they expect two things:
The product will work well and continue to do so long-term.
The product will be easy to set up.
After all, it's supposed to make their lives easier, so that is exactly what they should get, right?
Some experts say that's not the case.
Research Director at Parks Associates, Brett Sappington, and John Driver, CEO of Lynx Technology are of the opinion that most manufacturers just don't care about making devices that work seamlessly with other devices. An example of this are Honeywell's state-of-the-art products which all work together through the Lyric control panel.
While security system suppliers are promising all sorts of flashy features, they're not addressing the basic needs of those who want to buy smart security systems:
The customer experience.
If customers are demanding that all their devices connect with one another, why hasn't that happened? Can't we all find a happy universal standard to allow our gadgets to talk to one another?
Sadly, it's not so simple, and here's why:
Competing brands don't want to work together. They see the home security industry as a zero-sum game and want to keep all of their customers to themselves.
But that's just not true. Customers won't stay with a company that provides cheap, low-quality products and lousy customer service.
That may have been the case decades ago, but now, armed with internet research and user reviews, people know that there are better options out there. Businesses that are invested in their customer's well-being from the get-go.
Sappington and Driver also added that Millennials will be the key demographic driving growth in DIY home automation. They grew up in the digital age with the rise of online video, and they simply cannot get enough of it.
Whether it's live streaming or making and sharing vlogs or silly cat memes, it's not hard to see why Millennials are going to be the prime target market in the years to come.
Things are already headed in that direction, seeing as there are now apps, tablets, nanny cams, and anything else you can think of to enable people to easily monitor their possessions and their loved ones when not at home. Again, home automation is for both security and convenience, with a key factor being simplicity. Customers are hungry for more, so the future needs to be now.
Download the Ultimate Guide to Home Security and learn:
Top 5 misconceptions about home security
How to assess vulnerabilities in your home
Why home security is about more than preventing burglaries
Cutting-edge security equipment: how home security has changed