The 2016 Accenture Digital Consumer Survey for communications, media and technology companies polled 28,000 consumers in 28 countries on their use of consumer technology and found that growth was stalled in both smartphones and smart homes.
The days of huge growth in the smartphone market appear to be over, the survey found.
Only 48% of consumers said they planned to purchase a smartphone during the next 12 months, which was a six-point drop from the purchase intent rate in 2015and a more than nine-point drop from the 2014 peak.
As it related to smart homes, promoters and builders of the Internet of Things (IoT) have long promised consumers a more convenient future where people would live in smart homesthat have surveillance cameras, thermostats and garage door openers that would turn themselves on and off automatically.
Their refrigerators would automatically detect when the groceries it holds were low and reorder and deliver them from the supermarket. It’s a vision of a world where computers triumph and controlthe lighting and heating of a house.
The smart home, of course, would have intelligent appliances in the kitchen, connected to the Internet, which could both cook or refrigerate food as directed from a mobile phone or personal computer.
The only problem with this hypothetical world is that consumers have – almost no interest whatsoever – in using technology for home automation or control, the Accenture survey showed.
Other studies sponsored by companies including Whirlpool, Cisco Systems, Direct Energy, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Procter & Gamble and Zensys reached the exact same conclusion.
Consumers reported that price was the top barrier to the purchase of smart home gadgets, with 62% believing they are too expensive. This perception was consistent across all age groups and countries.
Russia, Romania and the Philippines reported the highest share of consumers saying price was a barrier.
In addition to a lack of interest and price, other roadblocks to the mass adoption of smart home solutions included the fact that smart home devices and security systems have proven easily hackable by cyber attackers.
Overall, nearly half (47%) of consumers surveyed by Accenture cited privacy risk/ security concerns as a barrier to adoption with Indonesia (60%), South Africa and China(both 58%) reporting the greatest concerns.
Complexity was also listed as a top barrier. The ultimate purpose of the smart home is to solve problems, not create new ones. However, ease of use is not the norm with current smart home products.
Clearly, when it comes to smart home products, most consumers perceived little value that would make a positive change in their lives and were more interested in simple solutions to real, everyday problems they face.