Millennials twice as likely to have smart products in their home25th June 2015
Younger adults are twice as likely to have smart products in their home than their older counterparts, a new study has indicated.
Researchers at The NPD Group Connected Intelligence Home Automation Advisory Service discovered that more than four in ten so-called millennials are aware of smart home products and interested in owning them.
This was considerably higher than the figures for other age groups, which suggests this group could be key in driving the technology's move into the mainstream over the coming years.
Some 23 per cent of millennials were found to have already installed at least one smart product – such as network-connected monitoring devices, system controllers, lights, sensors and appliances – in their homes. By contrast, just 12 per cent of the wider population have done the same.
John Buffone, executive director of Connected Intelligence, believes the growing popularity of smart technology among millennials is partly down to the fact it is not overly complicated to install and use.
"Today’s smart home products no longer require professional installation and ongoing subscriptions, many are now plug-and-play options,” he observed.
"The product mix such as smart lights and plugs fits the lifestyle of both homeowners and renters, which opens up a larger, younger and more tech-savvy consumer market."
Indeed, the research stressed that renters are just as likely as homeowners to have smart products in their house. Since the millennial generation accounts for a large proportion of those living in private rented homes, it is therefore perhaps no surprise to see these people taking advantage of the affordability and straightforward usability of smart technology.
But the study stressed that while millennials are more likely to be renting than own their own home, these people will eventually choose and/or find themselves able to get on the property ladder at some point in the future.
As a result, many of the habits and preferences they have picked up while living in private rented accommodation will be brought more widely into the owner-occupier market.
Speaking to Marketing Daily, Mr Buffone pointed out: "[Millennials] are more likely to be renters, but as they get older they’re going to buy houses and carry over those behaviours."
He added that while awareness of the benefits of smart technology among the mass market population is "decent", the wider public still has "room to be educated" further. As a result, Mr Buffone believes more education is "needed to move the category forward".
But as we have seen on many occasions in the past, older adults do tend to eventually catch up with their younger counterparts when it comes to embracing new technology.
The very fact that your mother or father might now own a smartphone or have a social media account is a clear sign that technology that enjoyed its initial boom largely among younger tech-savvy consumers is now readily used by people of all ages.
So there's every reason to think the same will happen again when millennials start talking up the benefits of smart products and encouraging their parents to invest in similar systems.