Among the more unexpected effects of the COVID-19 pandemic over the last half-year or so is the sudden home improvement boom it set off among consumers. Unexpected, but not entirely surprising, as consumers suddenly spending nearly all of their time in their homes these days have realized that home ought to be as nice and as comfortable as humanly imaginable. And since they’re not eating out, travelling far from home or going to events very much these days, many even have the budget to make some upgrades.
New furniture, new appliances, new floors, swimming pools, gardening supplies, tools boxes, paint and patio furniture are just a short list of things that have seen their sales surge as the homebound have begun feathering their nests and making their homes more comfortable, useful and aesthetically pleasing.
And, as new data released by Security research company Security.org indicates, that upgrade wave among consumers is increasingly extending to making their homes smarter as well. The overwhelming majority of consumers report already owning at least one smart home device (91 percent), with a very solid majority planning to purchase more in the not-too-distant future. The survey found 64 percent of respondents said they were planning to buy a new type of smart home technology within the next year.
Now, there are caveats with the data — the first of which is the survey cast a very wide net for what “counted” as a smart home device to get to that 91 percent, including expected stuff like smart speakers, smart lights, thermostats, etc, but also things like smart TVs, which tend to inflate the figures. But the survey does show that smart appliances are gaining ground among consumers, which at least strongly indicates that smartening up their homes is increasingly becoming part and parcel with the whole home improvement rush among consumers.
A Variety Of Smart Homes
What exactly constitutes a “smart home” as of late 2020 is in many cases a matter of perspective. On one end of a spectrum, a smart house might refer to a home with a few elements like lights or thermostats connected to a smartphone app that gives their owner the option of remote control. On the other end of that spectrum are the fully wired-up domiciles running a series integrated systems and leveraging an entire collection of connected sensors and household items working in concert — care of a lot of very complex programming and automation routines.
Between those two points there are a variety of connectivity options.
In fact, according to a recent New York Times article on the state of the great smart home expansion nationwide, what distinguishes the current surge in smart home technology adoption among consumers from the home-automation rushes of the past is the degree to which the current smart home can be an entirely DIY venture. The veritable explosion of smart refrigerators, washing machines, window shades and air-conditioners are rolling into the market ready to plug-and-play