More than 57.5 million homes had at least one smart home device at the end of last year, according to a report released by research firm Research and Markets. That’s a 12% increase from 2021.*
Affordability is among the reasons, says Anthony Pezzula, owner of Red Spark Technology, a Pittsburgh-based technology company that offers a variety of technology-based solutions.
“Pricing in the technology has made it more attainable for folks to integrate it into their home lives,” Pezzula said.
Many smart speakers on the market start at under $50. Appliances and other devices, on the other hand, can add up. A smart refrigerator costs anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000. Some offer sensors to track temperature and cameras to allow people to see inside the appliance while at the grocery store. In addition to price, Pezzula points to four factors that account for smart appliances becoming more common in homes: remote control, voice control, efficiency and security.
Jon Bloom, senior vice president of personal products at Erie Insurance, also sees the reasons for this technology’s popularity.
“There are many ways homeowners can enhance their lives through the addition of smart home technology,” he said. “These products can provide not only easier access and comfort but also safety and peace of mind.”
While smart technology boasts many advantages, practicality is a top priority for many consumers. A few of these applications include:
The ability to turn lights and devices on or off via a smartphone, or providing a view of the front of one’s home. Pezzula noted how these functions could be helpful for older adults and people with disabilities.
Smart water valves that automatically sense if a water line breaks. This technology, which costs anywhere from $300 and up, can save owners from steep repair costs down the road.
A smart garage door opener that allows a homeowner to close and open the door remotely if they forget.
Cameras and motion-detection devices that can be viewed and controlled remotely. Many even offer facial recognition, which can help you determine who is at your door.
Privacy + Security
While providing personal safety is among the top reasons people look to incorporate some smart home technology into their homes, Pezzula said others are concerned about devices eavesdropping or being hacked.
“I typically have conversations with people on different levels because some folks are super excited and they really want to have their cameras be able to tell them when someone’s at the door or to send them notifications,” he said. “But I also deal with a lot of folks who are concerned with privacy. I have to bridge the gap where they may want security cameras but they may not want them to be integrated…or they may not want that video to be pushed out to a cloud or a third-party service.”
Ai Comes to Your Home
While many smart devices require users to create schedules or routines for the technology to follow, artificial intelligence is helping devices learn our routines, which means even greater efficiency and convenience, Pezzula said. “It really has the potential to revolutionize the smart home market and change our lives,” he said. “As devices become increasingly intelligent and capable, they’re able to really learn and adapt to user habits, becoming more intuitive and accommodating with little human effort.”
In many ways, Pezzula said, AI already has changed the smart-tech world.
“It may learn that we like to keep the temperature a little warmer when we’re at home and cooler when we sleep, and it can automatically adjust the schedule accordingly,” he said.
AI is already used in some devices to inform users of break-ins and carbon monoxide alerts that can be picked up through cameras.
Making Your Home Smarter
With an array of technology available at a variety of prices, Pezzula said people should consider what they need and what they want to spend, and talk with others.
“If anyone is considering installing smart tech for any reason, I think that first best resource is really to talk to family and friends about the needs,” he said.
Adding devices to your home? ERIE offers discounts to homeowners who have safety features such as smoke alarms and security systems. Contact us today for more information.
ERIE® insurance products and services are provided by one or more of the following insurers: Erie Insurance Exchange, Erie Insurance Company, Erie Insurance Property & Casualty Company, Flagship City Insurance Company and Erie Family Life Insurance Company (home offices: Erie, Pennsylvania) or Erie Insurance Company of New York (home office: Rochester, New York). The companies within the Erie Insurance Group are not licensed to operate in all states. Refer to the company licensure and states of operation information.
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