When Will the Smart Home Finally Become Popular?

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The future of the smart home doesn’t look so certain. While the Wi-Fi Alliance just announced a new type of Wi-Fi, called HaLow, that looks tailor-made for the Internet of Things, and dozens of manufacturers are developing connected devices aimed at making every part of your home smarter and more efficient, few regular consumers have really gotten on board the smart home train. And that might have you wondering: When will the smart home really catch on?

As research firm Forrester reported mid-2015, only about 13% of adults who are online in the United States report using one or more smart home device. The point of the research wasn’t to claim that the smart home isn’t catching on; instead, the researchers noted that even in that relatively small user base, user interests and priorities were so diverse that “no one company is dominating or ever will be able to dominate a unified smart home market.”

But as smart home devices and their use cases diversify, researchers think that more consumers are going to get on board with the smart home. Real estate brokerage firm Coldwell Banker polled more than 4,000 Americans in advance of the 2016 International CES trade show in Las Vegas. The survey found that it isn’t just tech-savvy users who are adopting smart home technology. In fact, 36% of those who plan to begin using such devices in 2016 say that they don’t even consider themselves to be early adopters of technology.

Unsurprisingly, the survey found that the most popular smart home tech currently installed is in the area of “smart entertainment.” (Think smart TVs and speaker systems, which 44% of smart home tech owners already have.) About 31% have smart home devices aimed at security, and 30% have smart home devices that enable them to control the temperature and environment of their homes.