Control systems, automation interest homeowners

Dallas, TX—More than half of U.S. households with Internet access are interested in buying a home control system (HCS) to automate control of home lighting, room temperature, and security systems, if the solution costs less than $200, according to recent research by the Diffusion Group (TDG).

By Control Engineering Staff May 31, 2005

Dallas, TX— More than half of U.S. households with Internet access are interested to varying degrees in buying a home control system (HCS) to automate the control of home lighting, room temperature, and security systems if the solution costs less than $200, according to recent research by the Diffusion Group (TDG). The research firm adds that innovations in automation technology, combined with the diffusion of home networks, have helped to bring the cost of home control functionality down to a level where consumers are more likely to be interested in connecting and automating systems in their homes.

‘The cost to purchase and install home control solutions has historically been prohibitive to mainstream consumers, often costing several thousand dollars for an entry-level package. With recent HCS innovations, however, this is no longer the case,’ says Dale Gilliam III, TDG’s primary research director. ‘The most pressing challenge facing the home control industry today is not one of innovation or technology, but one of pricing, and

TDG’s research found that although consumer interest in HCS is greatest at prices below $200, higher price levels sustained significant interest. For example, approximately 30% of Internet-enabled households are to varying degrees interested in purchasing a HCS if priced between $200 and $400, and 20% are to varying degrees if the price is more than $400. Other important findings of this report include:

  • Approximately 7% of U.S. Internet homes are currently automated with HCS solutions.

  • Those who intend to use HCS and existing owners are quite interested in media distribution throughout the home. For example, they’re 62% more likely to be comfortable using a PC as the central component in their home entertainment center, and three times as likely to be interested in purchasing a media extender.

TDG adds that its report, ‘Consumer Interest in Home Control and Management Solutions,’ offers an analysis of current HCS penetration among U.S. Internet households, as well as a detailed demographic and technological profile, including ownership, usage, and interests of those who intend to use HCS.

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jim Montague, news editor
jmontague@reedbusiness.com