New data from Parks Associates ( shows that approximately one-third of smart home device owners experience problems with their smart home devices and nearly 10% report problems connecting a smart home device to the home network router. Consumers encounter these issues more often when setting up smart sprinkler systems, networked security cameras, and water leak detectors compared to other smart home devices.

“Smart home devices utilize nascent technologies, which increases the likelihood of problems with setup, product interoperability, and user error,” said Patrice Samuels, Research Analyst, Parks Associates. “Until emerging devices evolve to a point where they are reliable and intuitive, support providers must implement solid support strategies that ensure customers have good experiences during product onboarding and get the full benefits of their new products.”

The diversity in the technical composition of connected products and in the technical landscape of broadband households means that not every product is a good fit for every household. The number of connected products is also expected to rise significantly in 2016, with 50% of broadband households indicating their intention to purchase at least one smart home device in the next 12 months. The most popular setup experience for these devices is plug-and-play.

“The fewer the number of steps that consumers have to take to get their device up and running, the better,” Samuels said. “The same goes for problems – the fewer problems or service interruptions that come to the attention of a user, the better the perceived product experience. Ideal support for the smart home must, therefore, be automated and proactive.”