Illustration: © IoT For All
The smart home concept was tested in the year 2000 when computer scientists and engineers undertook the Aware Home experiment at Georgia Tech. Twenty years have passed, and the adoption of fully integrated smart homes is still as rare as an albino alligator (yes, they do exist!). Although worldwide sales look promising, the smart television and virtual assistant technology consume the lion’s share of the smart home global market turnover. However, the smart home ecosystem encompasses many diverse products that deserve more exposure. It’s time the manufacturers reflected on how they could increase consumer adoption of their innovative smart products. Let’s take a look at five possible ways they can do so.
#1: Ease of Use
Ease of use is an important selling point that the smart manufacturer needs to consider during the R & D process. Ease of use can ensure long-term acceptance if the smart device or devices work with little complexity or effort. Introducing a simple user interface with straightforward instructions would go a long way to alleviate usage frustration encountered by many first-time adopters of smart products.
For example, the elderly would be more receptive to new innovative e-health solutions, such as smart pill dispensers, if designed with simplicity in mind. As a result, ease of use can create a sense of end-user satisfaction, which increases acceptance and usage, especially if an individual feels they can competently carry out an action using their smart device with little fuss.
Developed initially to assess goal-orientated performance and adoption of computers in a working environment, usefulness plays a significant role in customer acceptance of smart home technology. Defined as an individual’s perception that using the new technology will enhance or improve her/his performance or situation, usefulness has been extensively evaluated in various scenarios, from design to research. The basic premise is that if a consumer does not find a smart device useful, it is deemed to have minimal value and difficult to master, which creates a negative attitude. The repercussions, either positive or negative, are far-reaching. Additionally, if individuals, for example, are unaware of possible savings from a smart meter, they will not consider using the device. Usefulness is a broad concept encompassing many latent variables such as knowledge or experience. Therefore, more awareness of smart home technology’s usefulness via advertising and brand awareness is essential to create a positive attitude and increase consumer uptake.
Considering that sales performance is a metric of sector accomplishment and a reflection of consumer popularization, the smart home industry seems to be healthy, implying a degree of global acceptance and adoption of smart home technology.
Devices such as Amazon Alexa and Google’s Nest Hub had a market value of $157 billion in 2016, and global sales for smart devices indicate a year-on-year sales increase. Yet, as outlined earlier, specific devices account for most smart home purchases. Spending money on cheap smart products maybe not be beneficial in the long term, and expensive products may push many possible consumers out of the market. Moreover, people in less developed countries may perceive smart technology as a luxury item afforded only by the rich.
Cost refers not only to price but to a consumer’s prior contemplation of the benefits and disadvantages in line with the price of a smart device. This cost also includes the device’s installation, maintenance, and operation. The implication is that smart technology manufacturers try to …….