Published On: Tue, Feb 20th, 2018

Inwido Group’s latest trend report reveals the future for smart homes

The Inwido Group’s latest trend report entitled ‘Human Home in a Digital World’ makes interesting reading for all those fabricators and installers who want to get involved in smart technology. The global Inwido Group, which owns UK brands such as Allan Brothers and CWG Choices, asked 3000 homeowners in the UK and Scandinavia about their attitudes to smart homes, with the findings suggesting that there’s some way to go before demand catches up with the technology already available. While the use of smart technology in this sector might largely be confined to locks and security devices at the moment, the report also looked at relevant emerging concepts such as energy cells connected to windows, windows which automatically adjust to control light and air quality in the home, and even front doors which can be monitored and opened remotely to accept deliveries.

Probably the most significant finding to emerge was that, while those homeowners questioned like the convenience and control offered by a smart home, only 12% of them thought their home was already smart to some extent and only a further 38% wanted it to be smart in the future. The main reason quoted by the 50% who weren’t interested wasn’t that it felt too complicated or that they were worried it would be hacked (although these responses did feature), it was that they felt technology did not contribute to a ‘homely’ feel. Unsurprisingly perhaps, the biggest interest in smart technology came from millennials – those born between 1984 and 2004. They were much more keen to embrace the smart home than Generation X homeowners born between 1965 and 1984, and twice as keen as post War baby boomers.

The Inwido Group commissioned the study in part because it already produces windows, doors and blinds with ‘smart features’ and wanted to be able to inform its future development and innovation. It asked homeowners which of the emerging concepts made the most sense to them and which felt far off or even far-fetched. By far the best response was to alarm systems which communicate with homeowners, while the worst was to robots which recognise family members and warn if an unauthorised person gains access to your home. Wolfgang Gorner, Group Sales Director for Inwido in the UK, commented: “Fabricators and installers already promoting smart security solutions probably don’t need to be told that it is tech savvy millennials who are more enthusiastic about the technology than their older neighbours. However, given the fact that a majority of those questioned expected between 20 and 29% of homes to be smart in 10 years’ time, the focus should clearly be on the 50% of respondents who said they were interested in the technology. That’s still a very significant market to target.”