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Connecting—and Protecting—the Big Investment: How Consumers Use Technology to Secure Their Homes
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Connecting—and Protecting—the Big Investment: How Consumers Use Technology to Secure Their Homes

These days it seems like everything is “connected”—from the ubiquitous smartphone to entertainment systems in automobiles. Consumers’ homes are no exception, and as connected home technology becomes more commonplace, it’s helpful to know how consumers are making decisions about this type of technology. It’s also important for marketers to know which factors will ultimately drive consumers to bring these connected systems into their homes.

So who are connected home users?

A Nielsen study found that connected home users are 38% female and 62% male, with the highest users being between the ages of 25-34 (39%). Forty-one percent of connected home users make over $100,000, and 51% have at least one child under the age of 18 living in their household.

Across the connected home landscape, the most-used technologies include home automation (58%), wireless home security (57%), smart wireless sound system/speakers (34%) and connected appliances (26%). The most frequently used daily home automation features include lighting control (70%), garage door/gate control (68%) and access monitoring and control (66%).

When it comes to their homes, consumers say that safety and security are big drivers when it comes to getting connected. In fact, 64% of connected home security system users said that they strongly agree that their desire for a home security-system continues to be propelled by overall peace of mind and concern for security of possessions (54%). Forty-two percent say that safety concerns in the neighborhood and their concern for the safety of children (44%) was also a primary factor for their interest.

There is also a strong interest in an over-the-top holistic solution for connected homes, with almost half (49%) saying they would prefer that service and another 45% reporting interest in it but wanting to try it out first. Connected home non-users with a high interest level in connected home technology are most interested in wireless home security (71%) and home automation (64%).

As home automation continues to evolve, there continues to be a strong interest in future connected home technologies, especially a home automation/security system that users can control via text (46%) and a system that can detect when users are nearby and then automatically initiate specific features (43%).

With consumer interest in a unified connected home system, 49% of users of connected home technologies desire a single-device connected home system and would prefer to be able to control all aspects of their home through a single device, service or app.

Methodology

The insights from Nielsen’s Q4 2016 Connected Life Report were gathered from a general population sample of age 18+ and consist of 5,851 respondents who either use or are extremely, very, or somewhat interested in at least of the three connected life technologies: connected home, car/and or wearable technology.