According to a new report from Parks Associates ( approximately two-thirds of U.S. broadband households are unfamiliar with smart home products or services. Further, few consumers know what smart home devices and services are, who sells them, or where to buy them.

Parks Associates with the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) analyzed the results of a Q2 2014 survey of 10,000 U.S. broadband households. The results include recommendations for the connected home industry, analysis of consumer demand for smart home products, and strategies to raise awareness of smart home devices and their sales channels.

“Today, smart home service providers control almost every aspect of their offerings while consumers make only one choice – the service provider,” says Tricia Parks, CEO and Founder, Parks Associates. “Deploying open solutions that give consumers a degree of control over their ecosystem represents a major competitive element and an opportunity to increase revenue and business opportunities for software, hardware, and service players. However, consumers have to know where to find these devices, so these companies also need better promotion of their sales channels.”

Nearly 70% of U.S. broadband households are unfamiliar with where to buy smart home products, but 20% intend to acquire one or more smart home devices in the next 12 months. Parks Associates analysts recommend companies create educational marketing campaigns to raise awareness and open new consumer channels for acquiring smart home solutions to increase market adoption.

“Consumers want a group of products that work together, but today, they have few options beyond a service provider or home control platform,” Parks says. “So far only Google has had the market strength to build a partner network of smart home products that work together without a central controller or platform, but soon we will see many different business models emerge in this market area. Key sales innovations will increase the speed of market adoption, including sales channel expansion, service subsidization, and partnerships with new players outside the traditional CE hardware and services area.”
Data highlights from the research include:

° 13% of U.S. broadband households own at least one smart home device.

° 48% of consumers who own a smart home device are under 35 years old.

° Smart home devices will exceed 20 million units by the end of 2014, increasing to nearly 36 million units by 2017.

° 16% of all U.S. broadband households intend to purchase smart lights in the next 12 months, and 16% intend to purchase a smart programmable thermostat.

° 60% of owners with three or more smart home devices find interoperability very important.