Smart Homes Appeal to Young and Old - eMarketer
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Smart Homes Appeal to Young and Old

Wireless speakers are the No. 1 smart-home technology

It isn’t safe to assume smart-home devices only appeal to always-connected millennials. Early adopters of devices may commonly be young (and frequently male), but the wide variety of items that can make up a smart home mean senior internet users are just as likely to have them as their younger counterparts.

Smart-Home Devices/Appliances Owned by US Internet Users, by Generation, May 2015 (% of respondents in each group)

The Harris Poll found in May that while any given smart-home device had low ownership, a significant minority of respondents were interested in many of them. Wireless speaker systems were the most commonly owned, at 17%, and another 35% were interested in purchasing one. Smart thermostats, in second place, were already in 11% of respondents’ homes, with another 40% reported interest.

Consumer electronics and appliances serving many purposes can fall under the “smart-home device” rubric, and some of these appeal more to younger people—like domestic robots. The Harris Poll found that 15% of millennial internet users had one (such as a Roomba vacuum cleaner), but just 3% of Gen X and baby boomer respondents, and 6% of seniors, said the same.

Other devices, like smart thermostats, held more appeal for older respondents: 15% of senior respondents had one, vs. 9% of millennials.

The result is a world where senior internet users are just as likely as Gen Xers, and more likely than baby boomers, to have at least one smart-home device. Millennials are a few points ahead by this measure.

Earlier research found that millennials were the biggest users of smart-home technologies, but that internet users ages 45 and older were also happy with the devices—86% siad they would recommend it to others, vs. 92% of those ages 18 to 44, for example.

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