Home automation spending soared 57 percent higher year-over-year in 2016, according to the NPD Group, with home security and monitoring products setting the pace.
Automated home security and monitoring products accounted for more than 60 percent of the market in dollar terms in 2016, according to the NPD Connected Intelligence Connected Home Automation Report.
Digging down further into the category, NPD highlights the 171 percent year-to-year rise in sales of smart home entry devices, such as smart doorbells, which increased 171 percent in dollar and 206 percent in unit terms.
Consumer awareness of smart automated home products has waxed and waned, NPD points out, but awareness of smart doorbells rose 4 percentage points in 2016, while ownership increased 2 points.
Nearly one-third of smart homes in the U.S. now have networked video cameras, the most popular type of connected home equipment. Sales of multi-pack IP camera sets increased 129 percent in 2016 as compared to 2015, NPD points out.
“Network cameras have long been considered the entry point into the smart home, but growing demand for items sold in sets shows that the market is maturing,” said Ben Arnold, executive director, industry analyst for The NPD Group.
“We fully expect the next two years will see a broadening appeal of smart home devices and estimate that the category will nearly double in that time.”
U.S. households are also making greater use of voice command and control features. Nearly half (48%) of those that have installed smart home products use voice commands to control their home automation devices, according to the market research provider.
Siri is the most commonly used smart home voice control application, but use of Alexa is twice that of smart home automation voice control products collectively, NPD notes.
“Alexa integration into such a wide range of devices has positioned it to be the leading artificial intelligence driving home automation devices,” commented John Buffone, executive director, industry analyst, NPD Connected Intelligence.
“One in five Echo users have already adopted using the Echo to control other devices within their homes. We expect this to become increasingly common as Alexa adds skills that enable control of additional devices.”
Recent, related market research from Strategy Analtyics revealed that Vivint and ADT – two companies with roots in automated home and building security – had the largest U.S. market shares. AT&T ranked third with a total of about 308,000 smart home subscribers. Combined, Vivint and ADT’s smart home subscriber base exceeds 1.4 million, according to a recent report.