The Gist: The sweet spot for smart home products lies between technology and safety.

The smart home of the future can be ours now–if we want it. From light bulbs to blinds and refrigerators to front doors, we now have the option to make most of our household objects “smart.”

Interest for smart products is growing among consumers, but smart home tech is so varied, it can be challenging to trace patterns or behaviors. Will the general population embrace smart toasters, or are we better off assuming the smart thermostat will be ubiquitous in the homes of the future? Smart technology has arrived, but who wants to purchase it?

As it stands, 63% of U.S. adults do not own any smart home technology, and 74% do not intend to buy any smart home tech in the next 12 months. Ownership isn’t insignificant, and the types of products consumers own or plan to own tell a story about what consumers prioritize in these home devices.

A Smart Home is a Safe Home

We took a look at what percent of U.S. adults own these devices:

  • Smart doorbell
  • Smart thermostat
  • Smart lock
  • Smart video security system
  • Smart window covering or blind
  • Smart smoke detector / carbon monoxide detector
  • Smart outlet

The top owned devices were smart smoke detector / carbon monoxide detector (26%), smart thermostat (21%), smart lock (14%), and smart video security system (12%). Except for the thermostat, all of these devices are associated with home safety and security. Some security companies will even bundle this tech together, making adoption simpler.

With the first wave of smart tech adoption, security is key. Even back in 2015, we saw consumers were interested in smart products that provide safety and security, with home climate control trailing after. In this case, interest equaled purchases.   

Intent to Buy Indicates Some Saturation

We asked if consumers planned to buy any of the above smart home technology in the next month. Intent to purchase most of these items was low, even lower than existing ownership, either indicating a plateau in interest or saturation of the product.

However, one item stood out, as respondents indicated a higher level of interest in buying this product in the next year than those who already own it.

Intent to purchase a smart video security system still outpaces ownership. This would suggest that for most consumers, safety-related smart home products are where adoption of this trend begins and ends.

The smart home space is still developing, with innovative products emerging seemingly out of the woodwork. However, it’s clear at the moment; people are most interested in products that can keep their home or property safe.