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Security top motivator for home automation, study finds

The home automation market is growing as the technology becomes more accessible in a variety of sectors. While home automation is capable of enabling more environmentally efficient home management and sophisticated entertainment capabilities, its capacity for security improvements could be its most valuable asset. According to a recent study from the Consumer Electronics Association, security is the primary motivational factor contributing to the purchase of home automation solutions.

Security driving home automation growth
The study found that 62 percent of online consumers who show some tendency toward home automation do so because they are interested in the security opportunities presented by the technology. Survey results indicated that security features represent some of the most attractive elements of home automation solutions. In particular, 55 percent of those polled said they were interested in home automation systems that are capable of alerting the customer if somebody enters or exits the home. Home automation platforms that allow homeowners to adjust lights while away are also popular, as 52 percent of respondents expressed excitement about such systems.

Advances needed to support home automation market growth
Rhonda Daniel, manager of market research for the Consumer Electronics Association, explained that while a variety of factors are contributing to growth potential in home automation, getting consumers informed about solutions is key to enabling market expansion in the future.

"There is room for industry growth, with just 1.7 million households indicating they currently have a home automation system installed in their residence," said Daniel. "The more consumers know about home automation, the more likely they are to adopt the technology in their homes. Our industry must work together to develop clear product descriptions and educate consumers about what these technologies can do in order to increase adoption of these systems."

Considering the security potential of home automation
Home automation solutions offer homeowners advanced security functionality, essentially, by giving them more nuanced control over the home. This may sound like a fairly simple principle that would not require advanced functionality. However, the reality is that controlling the home is a difficult process that has invaluable security ramifications.

Protecting the home is possible with advanced cameras and access control platforms. However, these solutions alone do not necessarily provide a holistic plan because they focus primarily on keeping people from successfully breaking into a home and getting away with a crime. Another key component of home security is preventing the house from becoming a target. This is where home automation and other advanced solutions gain prominence.

Homes become targets when they either appear uninhabited for an extended period of time or seem to be uninhabited at regular times. Putting lights on timers, having the driveway plowed and sidewalk cleared of snow while away in the winter and performing other simple tasks can help solve these problems. However, home automation provides another level of functionality by giving homeowners the capacity to also adjust the blinds, control lights without having them on a specific timer, lock doors that are accidentally left unlocked, turn on entertainment systems and perform other functions that make a house appear occupied.

These types of functions provide vital assistance in helping individuals prevent their homes from becoming a target. As a result, home automation can play a vital role in enabling homeowners to avoid falling prey to a criminal. In such a system, access control and cameras still play a vital role in protecting families, but they do not have to serve as the only line of defense in keeping homes safe.

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