Essential Characteristics for Smart Home Products

2
Dec. 2019

Earlier this month, I spoke at a Smart Home conference organized by Parks Associates. In the leadup to my session, the moderator presented a summary of a 2018 survey they had performed among UK households with broadband service. The goal of the survey was to determine what characteristics do members of this household believe is essential for smart home products.

I was pleasantly surprised that the #1 feature – more important than anything else – was long battery life. This was deemed more important than the cost of a monthly service, or the ease of installation or even the privacy of the data generated by the product.

Battery life is of critical importance. Having to replace or recharge batteries is an annoyance.  Batteries are expensive and their disposal has a negative environmental impact. If the device is high or the battery compartment is difficult to reach, this process might be difficult. Moreover, the fundamental premise of a smart home product is to add convenience and security, and the constant need to worry about batteries does not contribute to either goal.

With long-range wireless power, this will soon be a thing of the past. After a simple one-time install, batteries will never need to be replaced or recharged. Finally, the smart home consumer won’t be an essential part of keeping the device operating.