The annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) has just concluded, bringing new and innovative technology that will shape our purchases on everything from refrigerators and vacuums to cars, smartphones, toy robots, and more for the next year and beyond. Smart home devices are always a big part of the show, with some of the biggest debuts taking place in Las Vegas each January that bring new features and experiences to our homes. Among the new devices introduced, including new 5G hubs, lighting devices, and smart doorbell cameras, there was a clear trend on home safety.
New reasons for smart home adoption are about to take over the reign of voice assistants. With this being the fourth year since Amazon’s Echo was introduced to the market and made its way well into the mainstream with over 100 million Alexa-powered devices sold, homeowners have had their first taste of home technology and are looking at what else it can do. Where entertainment might have started interest in smart home, home security and protection systems are a natural fit to grow next. According to J.D. Power, overall security system satisfaction is high, with key drivers for purchasing being peace of mind and protection of their property.
Home security is evolving; it’s not about monitoring and notification when something has gone wrong, but about prediction, prevention and damage mitigation with smart devices becoming more common. Water sensors are an easy first step for preventing damage, and there are a bunch of pretty cool ones such as Flo by Moen and D-Link. Other sensors are becoming smaller and bringing new functionality to help monitor for smoke, CO2, humidity, temperature, etc. Greater variety and availability of these devices and sensors will drive homeowner interest and adoption by giving them new ways to check on their home, and potentially help them save from damage prevented.
At the beginning of the year, Parks Associates released the results of another survey showing that homeowners who don’t already have any smart home devices could be motivated to buy one if it produced utility or insurance savings: “The prospect of saving money, either through reduced household bills or a discount on insurance premiums, raises the interest in smart home devices among 60 percent of the U.S. broadband households that do not own and do not intend to purchase a smart home device.” SmartInsure is ahead on this trend; we’re creating a new home insurance offering that provides homeowners with a package of devices selected to help mitigate or detect common causes of home damage, such as leaky or freezing pipes, paired with an insurance policy, support, an easy claims process, and savings on their premium.
The smart home is expanding beyond the one-dimensional benefit of control or convenience. Combined with insurance or another utility, it can provide new benefits and appeal to a new group of smart home adopters, especially when installation is provided. Do-it-yourself (DIY) is an easy entry point for homeowners to test out devices, but services can add value with professionals who can install devices that are a little more challenging than plug-and-play, and be available when maintenance or troubleshooting is needed. When installing smart fire detectors, water sensors, or other devices that can be critical to a home’s safety or prevent damage, an expert can ensure that they’re optimized for performance.
This year, the smart home will grow from new angles, and I’m anxious to contribute to it with the future of SmartInsure. Stay tuned for more, and keep in touch!
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