From Curiosity to Home Control: Reasons for Smart Home’s Rise

The curiosity for smart home technology has officially been piqued, and is blossoming into widespread adoption. This is due in part to the popularity of the smart speaker. There are various reasons why it has proliferated into the average home, perhaps due to the many use cases, convenience, novelty, and ease-of-use.

Smart speakers have served as an entry point in opening homeowners’ eyes to the benefits that other smart home devices can provide, and showing that the Internet of Things (IoT) isn’t just for the hobbyist. Recent data from the Consumer Technology Association shows that ownership of a smart speaker has experienced almost 100 percent growth in ownership in the last two years and are now in about one third of U.S. homes. This is a new operating system in the home and it is being pioneered by the largest forces in technology.

With thousands of IoT devices available from startups, the big names in tech, and other companies with products on Amazon and at Best Buy (which is also an ever-growing list), smart home adoption is on an upwards trajectory, because of the wide range of benefits it can provide: solutions for every home, family and person. Dongles, remotes, and speakers enhance entertainment, lights set the mood or brighten rooms automatically, and thermostats help to save energy, keep the house comfortable and make customers happy. Homeowners can mix and match the experiences that they care about and the benefits that they need. Every smart home is different; while some families might start with smart speakers, others might have a smart thermostat and add light bulbs to save energy.

Regardless of the family’s lifestyle, safety and security devices are a common thread for adoption; every home needs protection just as every home needs homeowner’s insurance. In this advance of adoption, International Data Corporation identified home monitoring and security devices as the second-largest device category that will continue growing, including moisture sensors, doorbells and locks, cameras, etc. according to its latest “Worldwide Quarterly Smart Home Device Tracker.” Part of the growing smart home adoption is occurring as homeowners are learning that technology can become an integral part of managing their house and help them become more proactive managing something they love. The features of a basic smart home security system comprising water, temperature, or door/window sensors, door locks, and even cameras can help a homeowner work towards lessening home damage or preventing it by acting on alerts.

Security devices may be the go-to adoption point after smart speakers because even a few can make a difference for safety and peace of mind. A security camera lets a homeowner check that the house is secure when they’re traveling, or a smart doorbell camera lets them safely answer the door remotely or deter porch pirates while they’re at work. Sensors have a broader range of benefits, and can provide context about the home’s conditions that can be used to monitor activity from doors and windows, share alerts about carbon monoxide, detect water in leaky areas, keep tabs on the temperature in each room, or listen for a potential break-in with a glass-break sensor.

These experiences can easily be added to almost any dwelling (traditional homes, apartments, or condominiums), families of all ages, and any lifestyle. In my own home, I started a smart home with a few devices and I’ve kept adding as I learned what else I could control, and our family has certainly benefited from the peace of mind and home protection. I have about a dozen devices in my home with a SmartThings hub. I use them to manage my home when I’m traveling, like adjusting the temperature from my Ecobee thermostat, and being able to stop water damage from a Fortrezz water shutoff valve once it’s detected from a sensor. I followed what would be the traditional path for adoption, starting out with a first device that inspired me to add more and more so that I could control or keep tabs on other parts of my home.

As the average consumer becomes more accustomed to and comfortable using IoT technology, there’s opportunity for service providers to help them along the way and provide an even greater benefit. SmartInsure is guiding homeowners in capturing the benefits of these home IoT devices. Homeowners who have embraced it to proactively manage their home should be rewarded, and others who haven’t discovered the benefits can learn from us. SmartInsure is a guiding partner who provides a kit of devices to start up home protection, with best practices to implement sensors and other devices in key areas of the property. We don’t think that the benefits of having a smart home should stop at the smartphone alerts: a homeowner who intervenes when water is detected in the basement or under the sink is preventing aggravation and damage and should be rewarded for their efforts. A smart home can be a win-win scenario for homeowners and their insurer who recognizes their proactive efforts, rewarding them with discounts and support for technology.

SmartInsure is on the path to providing insurance made to accommodate the smart homes of today, and the ones that are being built every day. Learn more about us at mysmartinsure.com.