Smart Phones And Smart Homes – The Same Or Not The Same?

December 5, 2018

Like the smart phone, smart home technology presents consumers with a significant amount of value and utility that makes day-do-day living more secure and convenient.  Smart phones and smart homes share the same basic premise - they both, in their own way, represent an ‘eco-system of utility’.


For a smart phone, it’s typically software such as banking, shopping apps and email that make up this connected community, and for smart homes it’s technology and hardware such as a smart fridge, security cameras, or smart speakers that work together to support the home owner.


If we look beyond these similarities however, there are a number of aspects that differentiate one eco-system from the other.  It is precisely these differences that could throw up significant barriers to growth of the smart home category.


Where the smart phone harnesses the optimised user experience of Apps, which are almost always cheap or free and universally accessible, the smart home eco-system is formed from expensive and not so easily acquired items of tech, which are also often not easily integrated.


Our recent study* of smart home technology adoption in the UK supports this difference and confirms the top two barriers:


“You mentioned you don’t own Smart Home technology but you’d be interested in owning some. Why don’t you have any at the moment?”


  • 40% claim cost as a primary barrier

  • 21% claim that it’s something that isn’t a necessity


If the smart home technology category can focus on creating desire, this could work to overcome the key barriers.


Smart home technology needs a hero


Whatever your opinion of Apple, we can salute their success in creating brand desire.  When people are happy to pay a premium for a product and discover they have a need, when they didn’t previously realise there was one for a product, that is brand desire.



Currently it doesn’t seem that there is any one brand ‘owning’ desire and creating new needs in the smart home technology space. We see this in our research, when just over a third of people (34%) asked to name brands they would associate with smart home technology, couldn’t think of any brand at all.


To discuss how to create desire for your brand  and help accelerate growth in the smart home technology category, please get in touch at


*Source: Smart Homes Technology Online Survey August 2018, 1,019 UK respondents (nationally representative quotas were set on gender, region, age and social grade), August 2018


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