Consumer Insights for Security Alarm Company Owners
What immediately springs to mind when you hear the phrase “home automation”? Over the years, that expression has been used to describe everything from self-cleaning ovens and motion-sensor lights to robotic maids and futuristic security scanners. If your brain starts conjuring images from science-fiction movies whenever the discussion turns to home automation, you’re not alone.
Home Automation in Today’s World
In today’s world, when builders and security experts talk about home automation, they’re referring to technologies that are rapidly becoming a common part of our everyday lives. Homeowners routinely lock and unlock their front doors with their smartphones and visually monitor their homes while at work or on vacation.
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) defines home automation as “technology that allows users to remotely monitor and control one or more systems in their home including security, lighting, heating and air conditioning, audio/video, intercom, energy and irrigation (sprinkler system).” The CEA further reported in its September 2013 research publication, Adoption and Usage of Home Automation Technologies, that safety and security features form the core units of home automation packages even though these packages may include a wide variety of components.
Interest Is on the Rise
In an interview with Angie’s List, Dave Pedigo, senior director of learning and emerging trends for the Indianapolis-based Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association, noted, “There is massive interest in home automation. We are at the tipping point for the automated home, and that growth over the next decade will be exponentially larger year over year.”
Results from the CEA report back up Pedigo’s assessment. When asked if they’d like to know more about home automation, 61% of consumers said yes. This is a significant increase from the previous year’s survey when only 37% indicated they were interested in learning more.
All of that interest is translating into major money….
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According to a recent report from Transparency Market Research, the home automation market was valued at $3.6 billion in 2012 and is expected to reach $16.4 billion by 2019.
HomeKit, a new iOS based technology that is designed to link and control smart home devices, was unveiled in June 2014 at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference. The same month, Google-owned Nest Labs purchased DropCam, a fast-growing maker of Internet-connected video cameras. As the New York Times, recently reported, “Google…bought into the vision of Nest’s founders, Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers, a pair of prominent Apple alumni, that the Nest thermostat is one step toward what they call the conscious home. That means a home brimming with artificial intelligence [AI], whose devices learn about and adapt to its human occupants, for greater energy savings, convenience and security.” Both Google and Apple are racing to develop platforms for this AI-inspired vision of an Internet of Things.
Maybe those science-fiction movies are closer to reality than we think!
How Can You Prepare for Tomorrow and Meet Consumers’ Expectations Today?
As awareness of home automation technologies continues to grow, consumers expect remote control and monitoring capabilities will be included with any security package they purchase – much in the same way they expect PCs, tablets, or smartphones to be Internet-ready.
Will your company’s offerings be able to measure up to these expectations? Are you ready for the “Internet of Things” to become a reality in the near future? Does this prospect excite you or fill you with dread? Should you diversify your security line to include more home automation products and services, or would it be better for you to sell your security alarm business now while you can maximize your company’s value without these offerings?
Give Rory Russell at AFS a call at 800-354-3863 and learn more about available options, whether you are interested in financing your next move or selling your business outright. You’ll receive a free, honest evaluation of your business at no obligation to you from an experienced alarm company broker.
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© Rory Russell and Acquisition and Funding Services, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from the author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Rory Russell at AFSSmartFunding.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.